By Junex Doronio
July 4, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Asserting the country’s integrity and sovereign rights, the Philippine Coast Guard drove away seven foreign fishing vessels in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said five Chinese and two Vietnamese ships dispersed after they were challenged on June 30 at the vicinity waters off Marie Louise Bank.
“This is Philippine Coast Guard BRP Cabra MRRV-4409. You are within Philippine exclusive economic zone,” a BRP Cabra personnel said in a radio challenge on the foreign ships.
A video was also released by the Philippine Coast Guard.
As a matter of routine, the PCG asked the foreign vessels to identify themselves and their intention in the area, as well as their last and next port call.
Marie Louise Bank, a feature in the Spratly Islands, is located 147 nautical miles off El Nido, Palawan.
The PCG further said BRP Cabra “utilized Long Range Acoustic Device to conduct radio challenge to said vessels, in accordance with the PCG Manual on Rules on the Use of Force within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone.”
Senator Manny Pacquiao has asked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to be more assertive on the issue of the West Philippine Sea.
On May 3, Pacquiao said he found Duterte’s response to the recent swarming of Chinese ships in the West Philippine Sea as “lacking.”
“Sa akin, nakukulangan ako. Nakukulangan ako kumpara doon sa bago pa siya tumakbo, nag-e-eleksyon pa lang. Dapat ipatuloy niya yun para magkaroon din naman tayo ng respeto (For me, I find it lacking. I find it lacking if compared to what he said before he ran, during elections. He should have continued that so we earn some respect.),” Pacquiao commented.
But the President was irked by Pacquiao’s concern.
“It’s about foreign policy, I wouldn’t want to degrade him but, next time, he should – mag-aral ka muna nang husto bago ka gumawa ng statement (Study better before making a statement.),” Duterte said. (AI/MTVN)