NSC exec urges NGO to abort Christmas mission to Ayungin Shoal

A ranking official of the National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday urged a non-government organization not to proceed with its plan to deliver Christmas goods to the fishermen and the detachment manning the BRP Sierra Madre (LS-57) in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya commented after a group calling itself "Atin Ito" made public its plan to launch "Christmas Convoy Civilian Mission" on Dec. 4 to provide "necessary supplies" to fisherfolks, nearby communities and frontliners in Ayungin Shoal. The group said these supplies would be coming from donations from different sectors. He added that they had received a letter from the group earlier but said the NSC has reservations about the project as Ayungin Shoal is a "hotspot" area. "Mataas ang tensyon dyan, nagkaroon na dyan ng laser pointing, nagkaroon ng water cannon, nagkaroon pa ng banggaan at mga dangerous maneuvers so ikinalulungkot po ng NSC na kung Ayungin Shoal po ang paguusapan ay hindi po namin pwedeng suportahan (Tension is high there as there were incidents of laser pointing, water cannoning, ramming and dangerous maneuvers, so the NSC with deep regret, cannot support this)," Malaya said. He added that they are discouraging this proposed "Christmas Convoy Civilian Mission" even if its goal is admirable because of security concerns. Malaya also urged the group to turn over to the NSC and the military the donated supplies if they still want it to reach the intended beneficiaries. "Kung meron po kayong gustong ipadala dun sa ating mga tropa sa Ayungin Shoal pwede nyo dalhin sa NSC o kaya di naman sa Philippine Navy, sa Western Command sa Puerto Princesa [Palawan], pwede po nating i-turn over sa kanila at yung atin pong Western Command sila na po ang bahala na magdala sa Ayungin Shoal as part of our regular resupply and rotation mission (If they want to send something to our troops in Ayungin Shoal, they can send it to the NSC, or to the Philippine Navy, or at the Western Command in Puerto Princesa [Palawan]. We can also turn it over to the Western Command, they will take responsibility on how to transport to Ayungin Shoal as part of our regular resupply and rotation mission)," he added. Source: Philippines News agency