The Philippines is preparing contingencies for possible actions by China against Filipino vessels in the West Philippine (South China) Sea, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Wednesday.

“Anything can happen, but we are preparing contingencies,” Gazmin said in a press briefing.

Gazmin made the remark when asked if the Philippines fears that Filipino vessels would also suffer the same fate as the Vietnamese fishing boat rammed and sank by China on May 26.

The defense chief admitted being concerned about China’s aggressive activities, but said the government will not renege on the responsibility to both military personnel and civilians at sea.

“Tayo ay nababahala pero hindi naman tayo kinakabahan dahil ito’y ating responsibilidad na bigyan ng resupply ‘yung ating mga tao dun at ‘yung iro-rotate nating mga personnel dun sa area,” Gazmin said.

He declined to elaborate on the contingencies.

Gazmin said incidents are also being reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs for action, which “normally” come in the form diplomatic protests. (John Roson)

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