Coast Guard tells Senate China might be sowing fake news on WPS row
MANILA, Philippines — The spokesperson of the Philippine Coast Guard suspects a campaign by China to spread false information on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) dispute.
Coast Guard Spokesperson for West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela shared his beliefs during a Senate joint hearing by committees on national defense and security, unification and reconciliation, foreign relations, public works and finance.
He said the source of his information is his pals in news organizations.
“As far as PCG is concerned, the only information that we have received is through our media friends,” he testified.
“Some of the journalists that we know that support the efforts of the Philippine government in the West Philippine Sea received emails trying to divert the attention and focus of the Filipino people, instead of concentrating on the aggressive actions of China,” he said.
“Based on my personal understanding, this kind of information operation will not be happening unless it is supported by a state actor,” he added.
The PCG official also said some Filipinos are siding with China despite its incursions in WPS.
He blamed fake new peddlers as the reason for this circumstance.
The tension between China and the Philippines resumed after the China Coast Guard fired water cannons at a convoy of vessels led by PCG on August 5.
The Philippine boats were heading to Ayungin Shoal for a resupply mission for soldiers on August 5.
Then, on September 8, China Coast Guard vessels attempted to block another PCG convoy sailing towards BRP Sierra Madre for another resupply mission.