Despite the constant harassment, Filipino troops stationed in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea are in high morale and in good spirits, much inspired to work harder to make sure the national interest is protected, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Medel Aguilar.

“They are very much inspired because, first, of the completed resupply missions; second, because of the support that they are hearing from almost all Filipinos, from politicians, national leaders, legislators, from the top military leadership and, of course, from the media because of the way you report the incidents that are happening there, and to the international community for standing by the disposition of the Philippines on matters involving the West Philippine Sea,” Aguilar told a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday.

Aguilar said the AFP is taking notice of the aggressive actions of the Chinese Coast Guard and militia vessels in harassing Filipino troops stationed in Ayungin. He assured that the AFP will be taking steps to address persistent harassment of Filipino troops in the West Philippine Sea. 

“We will find out how the situation will improve further because it cannot be always this way that there will be harassment, that there will be blocking operations or some kind of blocking, and shadowing all those harassments,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar’s statement came after a successful rotation and reprovision of supplies to personnel manning BRP Sierra Madre stationed in Ayungin Shoal over the week, despite the attempts of Chinese Coast Guard and militia vessels to block the supply run.

Aguilar though declined to elaborate about the plans of the AFP, citing operational security.

“These are matters that are quite sensitive and delicate, and we don’t want to telegraph what is inside our minds because this is a matter of national security,” Aguilar said. | PND