Philippine civilian group slams China for ‘modern-day piracy’ in Second Thomas Shoal

Published June 5, 2024
  • China’s coastguard cannot get away with reported seizure of supplies for Filipino troops stationed aboard warship in Second Thomas Shoal, group says

A Philippine civil society group has accused Beijing of committing “modern-day piracy” in the disputed South China Sea and vowed to picket outside the Chinese embassy as maritime tensions between the two sides continue to flare.


Rafaela David, one of the leaders of Atin Ito (“It’s Ours”), said China’s coastguard cannot get away with the reported seizure of supplies for Filipino troops stationed aboard a rickety warship that serves as a military outpost in the Second Thomas Shoal.


David called on citizens to display their “unyielding spirit” at next Tuesday’s rally in front of the Chinese diplomatic mission in Manila to protest against the May 19 incident that also resulted in the alleged blockade of a medical evacuation of a sick soldier from the BRP Sierra Madre, which the Philippines grounded on the shoal in 1999 to assert its territorial claims.


“They cannot do a ‘Made in China’ Jack Sparrow act in our backyard and expect no accountability,” she said on Wednesday, referring to the protagonist of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.



RELATED: Philippine Marines Drew Firearms as China Seized Second Thomas Shoal Airdrop, Says Philippine Military Chief

Chinese and Philippine Armed Forces boats rigid hull inflatable boats clash near Second Thomas Shoal. AFP Image
Published June 5, 2024

The contingent of Philippine Marines onboard BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) at Second Thomas Shoal reportedly drew their weapons as China Coast Guard boats moved in to take packages from a resupply airdrop.

Philippine military officials said this week that Chinese rigid hull inflatable boats intercepted an aerial resupply drop destined for Marines aboard BRP Sierra Madre at Second Thomas Shoal in an incident last month on May 19. This incident saw the vessels come as close as five meters to the grounded Second World War-era landing ship tank, which Manila grounded at the disputed shoal in 1999.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Romeo Brawner said that the Marines deployed their weapons as a “precautionary measure” in self-defense.

“It’s part of the rules of engagement. That whenever you see imminent threats coming your way, you best be prepared,” said Brawner about the incident.

Chinese state media claimed that the Philippine Marines were pointing guns at China Coast Guard officers and released a video of the incident from the Chinese perspective that depicts two Philippine personnel onboard Sierra Madre wielding firearms. These claims were denied in a statement by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, citing the need for “heightened vigilance and alertness” because of the “CCG’s provocative presence near BRP Sierra Madre.”



RELATED: In Ayungin Shoal, China chases after Filipino food supplies too

Published June 4, 2024

MANILA, Philippines – Days after China, through its state-owned media, accused Filipino soldiers of pointing their guns at the China Coast Guard in Ayungin Shoal, the military released their own video showing how the Chinese tried to take a supply package for soldiers in the BRP Sierra Madre.

During a press conference on Tuesday, June 4, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) released to media a three-minute video showing Chinese personnel aboard rigid hull inflatable boats trying to take an airdropped package of food for soldiers stationed at the Sierra Madre, a rusting warship grounded on the shoal.

On board rubber boats, the Philippines tried to get the package, which was the second in four sorties that dropped essential supplies. The AFP said the resupply mission was still a success since soldiers were able to secure the three other drops.




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