PCG monitors 8 Chinese vessels in Bajo de Masinloc
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Sunday that it has monitored eight Chinese vessels during its maritime security and patrol operations in Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal.
PCG’s operation stemmed from a directive from Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan ordering the deployment of BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) to Bajo de Masinloc last February 1 to ensure the safety of Filipino fishermen within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
“Throughout the mission, BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) monitored the presence of four Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessels with bow numbers 3105, 3302, 3063, and 3064,” the agency said in a statement.
“It also observed the presence of four Chinese Maritime Militia Vessels,” it added.
According to PCG, BRP Teresa Magbanua personnel “professionally engaged the Chinese maritime ships through radio, reiterating the clear and principled position of the Philippines in accordance with international law.”
Aside from this encounter, PCG said it likewise assured fisherfolk within the area and the public of safety.
“The Coast Guard’s white ships will consistently ensure Filipino fishermen’s safety and welfare,” Gavan said.
“Every Coast Guardian will do more so that the best public service prevails in accordance with the President’s vision and call for action towards ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ by ensuring food security, among others, being a fundamental element of the social chance to drive national development,” he added.
Moreover, about 100 fisherfolk received aid from PCG personnel. This assistance consists of food packs and drinking water to support their basic needs during the prolonged fishing operations in the Bajo de Masinloc.