HEADLINE-ASIA GEO POLITICS | MANILA: Marcos: No water cannons for Philippine ships in WPS

WATCH VIDEO:  Marcos rejects proposal for water cannons on Philippine vessels
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MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. rejected a proposal to equip Philippine ships patrolling the West Philippine Sea with water cannons in response to China’s aggressive actions against the country’s vessels.

Marcos on Monday ruled out the use of water cannons and other “offensive” equipment to assert the country’s sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.

“The last thing we would like is to raise tensions in the West Philippine Sea,” the president said.

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“We will not follow the China Coast Guard (CCG) and the Chinese vessels down that road because it’s not the mission of the Navy, our Coast Guard to start or to increase tensions. Their mission is precisely the opposite: it’s to lower tensions,” he added.

Last week, the Philippines said the CCG water cannonned and rammed vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) headed to Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal, to assist Filipino fishers in the area.

Marcos said his government will continue to address incidents in the West Philippine Sea through diplomatic channels.

“All we do when our ships are water cannoned, we send a démarche, we send letters to China and the other stakeholders,” he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had summoned a Chinese envoy following the latest incident near Bajo de Masinloc.

Beijing claims nearly the entire South China Sea, dismissing claims from other countries, including the Philippines, and an international court ruling that found its assertions to have no legal basis. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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