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State universities slam Chinese ship intrusion

BY ERNESTO DELGADO and RHAYDZ B. BARCIA


LEGAZPI CITY --- Academic leaders in Bicol strongly denounced the recent entry of a Chinese-flagged vessel into Philippine waters near the island of Catanduanes on April 27, without proper authorization.


In a statement released on Thursday, the Catanduanes State University (CatSU) emphasized that this intrusion violated the Philippines’ territorial sovereignty within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).


Calling it unacceptable, the CatSU condemned the intrusion and urged the vessel to comply with international maritime laws.


“As the conscience of their society, they unite to protect their seas and lands from encroachment and unlawful activities,” the CatSU said.


Likewise, Bicol University (BU) expressed solidarity with Catanduanes State College’s protest, highlighting the potential threat the vessel posed to ongoing or future research endeavors.


BU firmly stated its stance against any unauthorized engagements, particularly those that could jeopardize heritage and sovereignty in territorial waters.


“The vessel’s presence in the area posed a potential threat to ongoing or future research engagements. We will never tolerate any unauthorized engagement, especially those that may infringe on heritage and sovereignty, particularly in identified territorial waters,” said the premier academic institution in Bicol.


As responsible stewards, we must speak up and express care, concern, and accountability for protecting the nation’s natural resources, BU said in the statement.


The Catanduanes State University Student Council (CSUSC) and CatSU Office of the Student Regent also voiced support for concerns over Chinese vessels in Philippine waters, stressing the importance of safeguarding marine resources from foreign interests.


This incident is part of a recurring pattern of Chinese vessel incursions into the Philippine Sea, exacerbating tensions over the disputed maritime territory.


In a related development, the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) in the Bicol Region strongly supports Catanduanes State University’s (CatSU) resolute stance against the presence of Chinese vessels in Catanduanes waters.


In an official statement, PASUC emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law, territorial integrity, and sovereignty. It called upon the nine state universities and colleges in the Bicol Region to advocate for peaceful dispute resolution and to oppose any threats or use of force.


The statement urged protection of national territory and sovereignty, emphasizing the power of right over might. Similarly, Catanduanes State University issued a firm condemnation of the unauthorized presence of Chinese vessels in Catanduanes waters.


Asserting its commitment to ethical standards and social justice, the university emphasized its role beyond academia as a conscience of society. While acknowledging technological limitations, it highlighted the resolve of the Catandunganons to defend the Filipino patrimony and heritage.


The university community called for solidarity in condemning the unacceptable act and urged respect for international laws and protection of natural resources.


The incident involving the Chinese-flagged research vessel “Shen Kuo,” detected by the Armed Forces of the Philippines northeast of Viga, Catanduanes, underscores the urgency of safeguarding Philippine waters and upholding sovereignty.


Despite efforts to strengthen economic ties with China, Manila continues to lodge official protests against such infringements within its EEZ. (PIA 5/Keren Anne Bernadas contributed to this report)

Contributed photo/Tactical Operations Wing Southern Luzon/Philippine Air Force/PIA

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