China’s water cannon didn’t reach PH boat in new supply mission
MANILA, Philippines — The water cannon of the China Coast Guard (CCG) did not manage to hit the target boat in the latest resupply mission in the West Philippine Sea, an Armed Forces of the Philippines official said on Monday.
AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar also said that M/L Kalayaan did not sustain damage.
“Hindi tinamaan ang ML Kalayaan ng water cannon,” Aguilar told INQUIRER.net in an interview in Camp Aguinaldo.
(ML Kalayaan was not hit by the water cannon.)
“Hindi ko alam kung ito ay sinasadya ng CCG o hindi.”
(I am not sure if this is intentional on CCG’s part or not.)
Nevertheless, slammed China’s “irresponsible” action during the latest resupply mission in the BRP Sierra Madre grounded in Ayungin Shoal.
“Ang pag-gamit ng water cannon sa ganoong sitwasyon ay masasabi natin na napaka-irresposableng aksyon na ginawa ng CCG,” he pointed out.
(The usage of a water cannon in that situation is very irresponsible on CCG’s part.)
On Friday, a CCG vessel used a water cannon against M/L Kalayaan, but the boat, along with another resupply boat Unaizah May 2, managed to bring the provisions for BRP Sierra Madre.
Last August, the CCG also used a water cannon against a Philippine Coast Guard vessel escorting boats delivering supplies to the World War II-era warship.
A commissioned Philippine Navy ship, the BRP Sierra Madre hosts a small contingent of military personnel.
It was grounded on Ayungin Shoal in 1999 to assert Manila’s claim on the low-tide elevation, which is located about 194 kilometers (105 nautical miles) off Palawan province — well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
Beijing’s actions are based on its assertion of sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea, but a July 2016 Arbitral Award effectively dismissed their claims.