No more China's 'monster' ship in Bajo de Masinloc — PCG

Michael Punongbayan, Jose Rodel Clapano - Philstar.com
No more China's 'monster' ship in Bajo de Masinloc � PCG
Photo shows the 165-meter China Coast Guard ship 5901, known as ‘the Monster’ for its size, which joined CCG ship 5203 during a brief intrusive patrol into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone west of Panatag Shoal early yesterday. The location and movement of the vessels are shown in an image posted on X by SeaLight director Ray Powell.

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Commodore Jay Tarriela said only two Chinese coast guard (CCG) vessels and 19 maritime militia vessels (MMVs) were in Bajo de Masinloc based on its monitoring.

“The so-called monster China coast vessel 5901 is no longer there,” Tarriela said.

“We rely on the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) whenever they have the report to the totality of the Chinese maritime militia… the navy vessels as well,” he said.

He also said the CCG would usually only deploy its so-called monster vessel whenever there are joint Philippine-US military exercises.

“There are already numerous instances that they deployed their monster ship to threaten here in the Philippines. The first one was in 2022. They did it in 2022 when we had exercise with US coast guard. Whenever there is an exercise, they deployed. This is always related to intimidation to discourage again any civilian convoy to any part of the WPS,” Tarriela said.

He explained that the PCG’s attention is on the Chinese because they are always employing intimidation against the Filipinos.

The PCG, Tarriela said, has encountered Vietnamese ships in Philippine waters.

“But when we used our PA (public address) system, they pulled out accordingly. It means that they respect the Philippines,” he said.

“The moment that we challenge the Chinese military, the Chinese naval vessels would also come. From the behavior itself it shows how bully the Chinese are. How they look at the Filipino fishermen, that they totally have sovereignty over our territory,” Tarriela said.

“Whenever we pass Vietnamese fishermen, we usually communicate with them. We are not water-cannoned by Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei,” he pointed out.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier filed a note verbale to protest China’s unilateral imposition of a fishing moratorium.

The DFA said it was protesting the ban “insofar as it includes the Philippines’ maritime zones over which the Philippines has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction.” — Delon Porcalla

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