Poe: Chinese ship’s behavior in West PH Sea must not be drowned by election | Global News

Poe: Chinese ship’s behavior in West PH Sea must not be drowned by election

/ 02:11 PM March 28, 2022

Poe: Chinese ship’s behavior in West PH Sea must not be drowned by election

Senator Grace Poe/FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Saying the country’s maritime issues should not be drowned by the ongoing campaign season, Senator Grace Poe said Monday the national government should act urgently on the recently reported “close distance maneuvering” of a China Coast Guard (CCG) ship in Scarborough Shoal.

Authorities earlier reported that a CCG vessel conducted a close distance maneuvering towards BRP Malabrigo, one of Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) ships, while the said Filipino vessel was sailing at the vicinity waters off Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal.


“The government must act urgently on the Philippine Coast Guard report of close distance maneuvering by a Chinese Coast Guard vessel in the West Philippine Sea,” Poe said in a statement.


“Its presence poses risks to the safety of navigation and impedes on the Filipinos’ rights to benefit from marine wealth in our exclusive economic zone,” the senator added.

While commending the PCG for actively patrolling the Philippine waters and immediately reporting the incident to concerned authorities, Poe said the call for the national government to urgently act on the issue “should not be drowned by the frenzy of the political campaign as China’s intransigence on the West Philippine Sea issue remains real.”

“We must not let this pass without raising protest even as we continue to bolster diplomatic initiatives with other foreign nations in asserting sovereignty over our waters,” Poe said.

According to the PCG, the incident was a “clear violation” of the 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).

PCG Commandant Artemio Abu said the incident was the fourth time their vessels had a close encounter with the Chinese Coast Guard in the Scarborough Shoal.

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TAGS: Bajo de Masinloc, BRP Malabrigo, China Coast Guard, Grace Poe, Scarborough Shoal, West Philippine Sea

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