Manila, Philippines – The Chief of Staff of the Philippines’ Armed Forces has accused the Chinese Coast Guard of firing water cannons at Filipino fishermen to drive them away from the disputed Scarborough Shoal. General Emmanuel Bautista told reporters that the incident happened last January 27.
The Philippines and China both claim sovereignty over the territory located in the South China Sea, believed to be oil-rich.
The United States, a long-time ally of the Philippines, has declared that it will not get involved in the territorial dispute. However, the Philippines and the U.S. have an existing treaty under which the U.S. is obliged to help its ally if it is attacked. The U.S. State Department is still assessing whether the firing of water cannons would be considered an “attack.”
Asked by The Adobo Chronicles how the Filipino fishermen responded to the water cannon firing, Gen. Bautista said: “Of course, an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth! The fishermen fired back with their water pistols.”