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Makabayan bloc seeks probe into Chinese attack vs. Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal

The House Makabayan bloc is seeking an investigation into the incident in Ayungin Shoal where Chinese ships fired water cannons against two Philippine vessels last November 16.

In filing House Resolution 2370, the bloc urged the House of Representatives, through the Committee on Foreign Affairs, to condemn and investigate, in aid of legislation, the recent attack of China against Philippine boats.

The group said the incident is another manifestation of China's increasing aggression and arrogance in claiming and annexing Philippine waters and territories.

"These past years have witnessed how China converted Philippine seas and fishing grounds into military installations, how China bullied and threatened Filipino fisherfolk out of their own fishing grounds, and how China openly plundered or destroyed the country's maritime resources," the group said.

"The government's cowardly stance and failure to uphold the country's own valid and rightful claims in these waters have further emboldened China to conduct itself like an imperial hooligan in the Philippines' own territory," it added.

Chinese vessels fired water cannons at Philippine vessels en route to Ayungin Shoal for a resupply mission last week.

The Chinese government has reasoned out that the Philippine vessels "trespassed" and that Chinese forces were just doing their duty to protect Chinese territory.

But President Rodrigo Duterte has branded the action of China as abhorrent, saying the incident "does not speak well of the relations between our nations and our partnership." 

For his part, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday that resupply ships have since been deployed and that Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian told him there won't be interference provided these ships won't be escorted. — RSJ, GMA News