Defense beat reporters slam Chinese spox on Ayungin coverage

Defense beat reporters also slam Chinese spox on Ayungin coverage

/ 05:32 AM March 31, 2024

Defense beat reporters also slam Chinese spox on Ayungin coverage

To slip past water cannon attacks and blocking maneuvers of Chinese ships, last seen during the incident in Ayungin Shoal on Tuesday, the Philippine military will focus on speed and maneuverability in its future missions to its outpost there, the BRP Sierra Madre, according to Vice Adm. Alberto Carlos, chief of the Western Command. —VIDEO GRAB FROM PCG

Another Philippine media organization has railed against the Chinese foreign ministry for making “baseless allegations” that recent news video footage of Chinese ships harassing Filipino vessels have been manipulated.

In a statement on March 27, the Defense Press Corps of the Philippines (DPCP), composed of journalists covering the military and security matters, reminded Beijing that its members would not cover such tense maritime encounters just to push government propaganda.


“The journalists who join these missions risk their lives in the face of unwanted aggression to bring the unvarnished truth to light. It is unfortunate some would still call the work of these independent Filipino journalists as manipulated sensationalism,” the group said.


Water cannon blast

“We reject and condemn this false accusation,” it added.

DPCP was reacting to the statement made last week by Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on the media coverage of resupply missions involving the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard to the BRP Sierra Madre, a military outpost in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

The last mission, on March 23, again saw China Coast Guard ships using water cannons on the civilian vessel commissioned to deliver supplies to the grounded Sierra Madre. The military said the water blast wounded four Navy crewmen onboard.

READ: Focap, NUJP lash back at China embassy, foreign ministry

DCPC was the third media group to lash back at the Chinese ministry over its spokesperson’s remarks, after the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

In a post on X, Hua remarked that “Each time the Philippines delivered supplies to the grounded warship, they had many journalists on board and had them manipulate the videos they recorded to make sensational news and project the Philippines as a victim.”


In response to Hua’s statement, Focap said: “The claim that the Philippines ‘had [journalists] manipulate’ their footage is a barefaced lie. A free and independent press reports not what they are told, but what they observe, framed by historical and political context.”

NUJP said “The media is not a party to the dispute and should not be demonized by parties for airing contending views on the issue and unflattering reports on incidents in the West Philippine Sea.” —Jacob Lazaro

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TAGS: Ayungin Shoal, China, Defense, Journalists, West Philippine Sea

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