Press Release
June 18, 2024

Tolentino asks DFA to seek IRC aid in delivering food supplies for PH soldiers in BRP Sierra Madre

MANILA, Philippines - Senate Majority Floor Leader Francis 'Tol' Tolentino on Tuesday asked Foreign Affairs Sec. Enrique Manalo to seek the assistance of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in delivering food supplies to Filipino soldiers stationed at the grounded BRP Sierra Madre at the Ayungin Shoal.

"In view of the escalating conditions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), particularly near the Ayungin Shoal relative to our resupply missions, my humble recommendation is to seek the assistance of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) based in Geneva, Switzerland," Tolentino said in his message to Manalo.

Tolentino made the recommendation to Manalo after Chinese ships claimed to have rammed Philippine vessels on a rotation and resupply (Rore) mission to Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal on Monday.

"The ICRC, under the Geneva Convention, can facilitate the necessary humanitarian aid to our Navy personnel living in BRP Sierra Madre and would pave the way for delivering the needed food supplies by our soldiers therein," the lawmaker added.

Tolentino said that it is now the time for the Philippines to file a case against China at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and other Human Rights Council agencies because of its harassment of Filipino soldiers and fishermen.

He said China has no right or jurisdiction to implement domestic law over its neighbor, especially in the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Tolentino said China is violating several international laws, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS), and many more.

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