Manila: Philippine Navy will have to send civilian vessels to the Ayungin Shoal to deliver ration to the soldiers stranded in Ayungin Shoal.

“I cannot tell you about the specific date, but what I can tell you is that’s definite. It’s not that we’re trying to court China’s ire. We do not want to starve our people to death.”

Days ago, the Chinese Coast Guard blocked Filipino vessels approaching the shoal, known internationally as Second Thomas Shoal, thinking they were bringing in construction materials.

The officials said a small Navy plane airdropped drinking water for the troops last Monday, but the gallons delivered may not be enough. He said the water supply may last only 3 to 4 days.

The source also said the Navy will not be sending gray ships so as not to heighten the already tense situation.

He said the Navy is concerned the Philippines is losing Ayungin to China. Still, “as much as we are concerned, we are calibrating our action in the sense that we do not want to escalate the situation further.”