VP Leni condemns China’s harassment of PH resupply vessels;
On Wednesday, Robredo met with retired military generals from the AFP
Presidential candidate, Vice President Leni Robredo, on Thursday said the latest harassment by Chinese Coast Guard vessels on Philippine supply vessels in Ayungin Shoal emphasized the need to show a stronger stance in asserting the Philippine sovereignty to protect Filipinos’ interests.
“Na-harass na naman ang ating resupply vessels sa Ayungin Shoal. Hindi pwedeng maliitin ang mga Pilipino nang ganito. Ang panalo natin sa Arbitral ruling ang sandalan natin para tuloy-tuloy natin ma-protektahan kung ano ang atin,” Robredo said.
The government said that Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked and water-cannoned two Philippine vessels on a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal on November 16. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said that he had conveyed to China the Philippines’ “outrage, condemnation and protest of the incident.”
Amplifying previous security briefings with the AFP, Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, had a very comprehensive discussion with retired military generals on major aspects of national security. This covered governance issues, defense spending, internal and external security concerns, civil-military relations in a democratic society, as well as non-traditional concerns such as climate change, disaster risk reduction and management, pandemic response, cybersecurity, and disinformation.
The retired AFP top brass present included former AFP Chiefs of Staff Generals Eduardo Oban PAF and Hernando Iriberri PA; former Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama; former Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Salvador Mison Jr PAF; former Navy Vice Commander Rear Admiral Rommel Jude Ong; former AFP Internal Auditor and Spokesperson Maj. Gen. Domingo Tutaan; and Maj. Gen. Arnold Mancita PAF. There were other retired generals who were unable to attend the meeting due to prior commitments.
Robredo conveyed her appreciation to the retired generals for their valuable input and suggestions during the in-person meeting held at her office in Quezon City.
The three- hour discussion is considered the start of a continuing consultation process, which will allow the retired generals to assist the Vice President in crafting a responsive national security agenda that balances the need to defend the state and protect the interests and welfare of the people. (end)