Removal of PH ship, reclamation a red line China shouldn't cross

‘Removal of PH ship, BDM reclamation a red line China shouldn’t cross’

/ 06:07 PM March 06, 2024

Scarborough Shoial Bajo de Masinloc in WPS

The side of the Scarborough Shoal as seen using a drone. Mother boats are anchored at the deeper part of the shoal while small boats can go across the coral reefs to catch fish inside. (PHOTO BY REM ZAMORA)

MANILA, Philippines — China cannot remove the grounded BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal and do reclamation in Panatag (Scarborough Shoal) as the Philippine government considers this a “red line” that Beijing should not cross, according to Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, Navy spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea.

“Ayungin Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc (BDM) have been declared red lines. No building or reclamation on BDM, no removal of LS57 (BRP Sierra Madre) on Ayungin Shoal,” Trinidad said in a press briefing in Manila on Wednesday.


“These have been declared by the [present] admin as red lines for the Philippines,” he added.


Trinidad made this statement amid the latest water cannon assault of China Coast Guard (CCG) in Ayungin Shoal which injured four Navy personnel, a move considered by the Philippines to be a serious escalation.

The official confirmed that there were two Navy warships in the area during this incident, but he said that their personnel need to follow their rules of engagement (ROE) in dealing with escalations.

“There are protocols in place, according to the rules of engagement,” Trinidad said.

“On escalation on the ground, the ROE governs the actions when and how to save lives and property and we leave it to the ground commander,” he added.

CCG often attempts thwarting the maritime activities of Manila in Ayungin Shoal and Scarborough Shoal through blocking and sometimes even resorting to ramming and usage of water cannon and military grade-lasers against Filipino vessels.

Their actions are based on Beijing’s assertion of ownership in almost the entire South China Sea—which includes most of the West Philippine Sea—a claim which was effectively dismissed by a 2016 international tribunal ruling.

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TAGS: China, Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal, West Philippine Sea

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