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Statement of the National Task Force for The West Philippine Sea

This morning, China Coast Guard (CCG) and Chinese Maritime Militia (CMM) vessels harassed, blocked, deployed water cannons, and executed dangerous maneuvers in another attempt to illegally impede or obstruct a routine resupply and rotation mission to BRP SIERRA MADRE (LS 57) at Ayungin Shoal.

At approximately 0632H CG vessel 21555 executed dangerous blocking maneuvers against Philippine Coast Guard (PG) vessel MRRV 4407, which caused a minor collision resulting in superficial structural damage to the hull of the PCG vessel.

At 0815H, one CG vessel caused a minor collision with Unaizah May 4 (UM4) due to its dangerous blocking maneuvers. CG vessels 21555 and 21551 deployed water cannons simultaneously against the supply boat UM4. The use of water cannons by the CG vessels shattered the wind shield of UM4, causing minor injuries to at least four (4) personnel on board. At 0936H, the injured personnel were treated by Philippine Coast Guard personnel from MRRV.

Due to the damage and injuries to the vessel and crew, UM4 proceeded back to mainland Palawan under escort of MRRV 4407.
At 0930H, Unaizah May 1 (UM1) successfully docked with LS57 and began its resupply. It concluded its resupply and departed BRP SIERRA MADRE at 1054H.

Once again, China's latest unprovoked acts of coercion and dangerous maneuvers against a legitimate and routine Philippine rotation and resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal, have put the lives of our people at risk and caused actual injury to Filipinos on board UM4. The systematic and consistent manner in which the People's Republic of China carries out these illegal and irresponsible actions puts into question the sincerity of its calls for peaceful dialogue and lessening of tensions.

The Philippines, for its part, continues to act peacefully and responsibly, consistent with international law, particularly UNCLOS and the legally binding 2016 Arbitral Award. Peace and stability cannot be achieved without due regard for the legitimate, well-established, and legally settled rights of others.

The Philippines will not be deterred from exercising our legal rights over our maritime zones, including Ayungin Shoal which forms part of our Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf. We demand that China demonstrate that it is a responsible and trustworthy member of the international community. (NSC)

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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