PH Navy fails to stand up vs Chinese Coast Guard ‘bullying’

PH Navy fails to stand up vs Chinese Coast Guard ‘bullying’

By Junex Doronio
November 21, 2022

MANILA — Saying they were exercising “maximum tolerance” to prevent an armed confrontation, a Philippine Navy (PN) team was apparently helpless when a Chinese Coast Guard vessel grabbed from them an unidentified floating object found drifting off Pag-asa Island.

In a statement on Monday, November 21, Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Command (WESCOM) commander Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said a team from Naval Station Emilio Liwanag (NSEL) was able to retrieve the object but a Chinese coast guard vessel with bow number 5203 was able to take it from them.

“[A]s the NSEL Team was towing the floating object, they noticed that China Coast Guard vessel with Bow Number 5203 was approaching their location and subsequently blocked their pre-plotted course twice,” Carlos disclosed.

He said the Chinese coast guard vessel “then deployed its Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat” and “forcefully retrieved said floating object by cutting the towing line attached to the NSEL rubber boat.”

The incident on Sunday, November 20, between the NSEL and the Chinese coast guard personnel reportedly lasted for roughly an hour.

“Maximum tolerance naman tayo sa ganun. Since its an unidentified, then not a matter of life and death naman yung object, so parang nag-decide na lang yung ating team na bumalik na lang dun sa NSEL,” WESCOM spokesperson Major Cherryl Tindog said.

Pag-asa island, located 480 kilometers off southwestern Palawan, is the largest that is effectively occupied by the Philippines, and the second largest island in the whole of oil-rich Kalayaan Island Group (Spratlys) in the West Philippine Sea.

Carlos said the incident has already been reported to the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea (NTF WPS) for appropriate action. (ai/mtvn)

Leave a Reply