West Philippine Sea

PCG reports damage after China uses water cannons in Bajo de Masinloc 

Bea Cupin

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PCG reports damage after China uses water cannons in Bajo de Masinloc 

BAJO DE MASINLOC. Two CCG vessels use water cannons against a PCG vessel in Bajo de Masinloc.

Philippine Coast Guard

Ten Chinese ships – four from its coast guard and six from its maritime militia – harass two Philippine government ships patrolling waters off Bajo de Masinloc

MANILA, Philippines – The China Coast Guard on Tuesday, April 30, used water cannons against two Philippine vessels in Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal), a feature some 100 nautical miles off the coast off the coast Zambales. 

In a statement to media, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela said China Coast Guard ship CCG 3305 used its water cannon against a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources vessel at around 9:53 am.

Two other China Coast Guard ships, CCG 3105 and CCG 5303, also used their “jet stream water cannons” against the PCG’s vessel BRP Bagacay when it was sailing some 1,000 yards away from Bajo de Masinloc. 

PCG reports damage after China uses water cannons in Bajo de Masinloc 

Tarriela said the twin water cannons “[targeted] the PCG vessel from both sides, resulting in damage to the railing and canopy.”

“This damage serves as evidence of the forceful water pressure used by the China Coast Guard in their harassment of the Philippine vessels,” he added. 

The PCG’s Bagacay and the BFAR’s BRP Bankaw were patrolling waters near Bajo de Masinloc, also to distribute fuel and food to fisherfolk in the area. During their patrol, the two vessels “encountered dangerous maneuvers and obstruction from four China Coast Guard vessels and six Chinese Maritime Militia vessels.”

Bajo de Masinloc is a traditional fishing ground for fisherfolk of different nationalities, including Filipino, Chinese, and Vietnamese. 

The PCG said the China Coast Guard had also installed a 380-meter floating barrier that covered the entrance of the shoal, “effectively restricting access to the area.” 

“Despite the harassment and provocative actions of the Chinese Coast Guard, both the PCG and BFAR vessels stood their ground and continued their maritime patrol. They were not deterred and will persist in carrying out their legitimate operations to support Filipino fishermen and ensure their safety,” added Tarriela. 

The China Coast Guard earlier claimed it “expelled” both the Bagacay and the Bankaw off the waters of Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Panatag or Scarborough Shoal. 

China claims also all of the South China Sea, including waters near features such as Bajo de Masinloc. This is despite a 2016 Arbitral Award that said its claim was invalid. – Rappler.com

1 comment

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  1. ET

    Here we go again—another incident of the CCG bullying our own PCG with water cannons. But our PCG cannot retaliate using its own water cannons? (Note: unless the latter do not have water cannons.) Are we not ashamed of this?

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.