West Philippine Sea

Philippines says China rammed, water cannoned resupply vessels

Bonz Magsambol

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Philippines says China rammed, water cannoned resupply vessels

WATER CANNONED. PCG spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela says ML Kalayaan, a military-contracted supply boat, 'suffered serious engine damage' from China Coast Guard's water cannons during a resupply mission to Ayungin shoal.

PCG

(1st UPDATE) The National Task Force-West Philippine Sea condemns the 'unprovoked acts of coercion and dangerous maneuvers' against the Philippine rotation and resupply mission

MANILA, Philippines – A Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) official on Sunday, December 10, accused China of firing a water cannon and ramming its resupply vessels in the South China Sea, with one of the ships suffering “serious engine damage” during a resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal off Palawan. 

Philippines says China rammed, water cannoned resupply vessels

Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said on social media platform X the Chinese coast guard “water cannoned” two of its resupply vessels – Unaizah Mae 1 and M/L Kalayaan – in the South China Sea on Sunday morning.

“M/L Kalayaan suffered serious engine damage. Contrary to China Coast Guard disinformation, UM1 rammed by CCG vessel,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chinese monitoring group South China Sea Probing Initiative said that the Philippine boat “ignored Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) repeated stern warnings, violated the COLREGs (Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea), swerved in an unprofessional and dangerous manner, and deliberately rammed the CCG boat 21556, resulting in scratches, for which the Philippines is fully responsible.”

This was the latest intimidation of Chinese forces against Filipino vessels in the West Philippine Sea. This latest incident also comes at a time when the Atin Ito coalition launched a maritime mission to honor the Filipinos who bear the brunt of China’s intimidation in the West Philippine Sea and made a statement that ordinary Filipinos should be able to sail freely in their own waters.

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A day before on December 9, China’s maritime forces also blasted water cannons at Filipino ships in the West Philippine Sea, Philippine authorities reported.

In a statement, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said CCG ships used water cannons against the vessels of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, namely Datu Sanday, Datu Bankaw, and Datu Tamblot near Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal). The three BFAR ships are civilian vessels.

The vessels are in a humanitarian and support mission to provide oil subsidy and grocery packs to over 30 Filipino fishing vessels around 1.4 to 1.9 nautical miles from the shoal when the Chinese maritime forces used water cannons to prevent them from approaching the Filipino ships.

‘Be responsible, trustworthy’

In a statement, the National Task Force-West Philippine Sea said that BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) also suffered damage to its mast after “being directly targeted by the full strength of the water cannon of the China Coast Guard.”

“The PCG vessels and the resupply boats Unaizah Mae 1 (UM1) and M/L Kalayaan were subjected to reckless and dangerous harassment at close range by CCG and Chinese Maritime Militia vessels on their approach to Ayungin Shoal,” they said.

The task force also condemned the “unprovoked acts of coercion and dangerous maneuvers” against the Philippine rotation and resupply mission.

“The systematic and consistent manner in which the People’s Republic of China carries out these illegal and irresponsible actions puts into question and significant doubt the sincerity of its calls for peaceful dialogue,” they added.

They also demanded for China to “demonstrate that it is a responsible and trustworthy member of the international community.”

“Peace and stability cannot be achieved without due regard for the legitimate, well-established, and legally settled rights of others,” the task force said. – with reports from Reuters/Rappler.com

1 comment

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  1. ET

    Here we go again, another counting exercise. How many times will China intimidate us in the West Philippine Sea before effective action will be taken by our Government?

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.