PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan — The Philippines is ready to assist a Chinese warship if, indeed, it was stuck in a coral reef within the country’s territory, a military officer said Thursday, July 12.
“Any ship or naval vessel in distress, we are duty-bound to provide assistance regardless of whether or not they were there in violation of our territorial integrity,” said Western Command spokesperson Lt Col Neil Estrella in an interview.
Estrella, however, said the Western Command is still verifying the report. It is also waiting for further instructions from the national government, he added.
Citing Western diplomatic sources, the Sydney Morning Herald said the warship on Thursday, July 12, “pinned itself” to a reef in Half Moon Shoal. The news website said the warship is now “thoroughly stuck.” (Read: Chinese warship stuck in PH reef.)
“Salvage operations could be diplomatically challenging, given the vessel appears to have run aground within 200 kilometers of the Philippine coast, which is squarely within what Manila claims to be its exclusive economic zone,” the news article said. — Rappler.com
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