Mga barko ng China sa Sabina Shoal matagumpay na naitaboy ng PCG

Marje Pelayo   •   May 5, 2021   •   750

MANILA, Philippines — Iniulat ng Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) na matagumpay nilang naitaboy ang ilang barko ng China na pumasok sa Sabina Shoal sa karagatang sakop ng Pilipinas.

Ang Sabina Shoal ay matatagpuan humigit-kumulang 73 milya mula sa Mapankal Point, Rizal, Palawan.

Ayon kay PCG Spokesperson Commodore Armando Balilo, nagpadala ng radio communication ang Pilipinas ng mamataan ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409), MCS-3002, at MCS-3004 ang pitong ‘unidentified foreign vessel’ na naka-angkla sa lugar.

Kalauna ay natukoy na ito ay mga China Maritime Militia Vessel (CMMV).

“This is Philippine Coast Guard BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409). You are within Philippine exclusive economic zone. You are requested to provide the following: name of vessel, intention, last and next port of call on Channel 16,” panawagan ng PCG sa mga barko ng China.

Ito ay naganap sa sa kasagsagan ng joint maritime exercise ng PCG at Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) sa Sabina Shoal noong ika-27 ng Abril.

Ayon sa ulat ng PCG, nakipag-komunikasyon ang PCG sa mga ito para ipahayag na ang Sabina Shoal ay bahagi ng Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) ng Pilipinas.

Nang hindi makatanggap ng sagot pagkalipas ng tatlong radio communication, nilapitan ng mga barko ng Pilipinas ang mga barko ng China na agad namang nag-angat ng angkla at nagpa-andar ng makina.

Sinundan ng PCG at BFAR ang paglalayag ng mga barko para masigurong tuluyang aalis ang mga CMMV sa Sabina Shoal.

Poe denounces China’s demand to remove BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal

Maris Federez   •   November 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe has denounced China’s demand for the Philippine government to remove the BRP Sierra Madre from the Ayungin Shoal.

In a statement released Thursday (November 25), Poe underscored that the 2016 arbitral ruling of the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration “declared that Ayungin Shoal belongs to the Philippines and is well within our exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.”

“China has no right to dictate what we can do within our waters,” Poe reiterated.

“Its recent statement telling us to remove BRP Sierra Madre from the shoal is another display of utter arrogance and aggression that we must not take sitting down,” she added.

Poe urged the government to step up its efforts in addressing the issue in addition to the diplomatic protests that the Department of Foreign Affairs has filed against China.

“Aside from diplomatic protests, the government should step up efforts in rallying our neighbors to form a united front against China in the South China Sea,” Poe said.

“Time and again, several nations have stood by us and shared our goal of ensuring peace, stability, and harmony,” the lawmaker added.

Poe stressed that every country must always act in deference to the sovereignty of others.

“Mutual respect must always be the cornerstone of our relationship with any nation,” Poe said.

On Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian demanded that the Philippines must remove the grounded BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal, saying it should “honor its commitment.”

“China demands that the Philippine side honor its commitment and remove its grounded vessel on Ren’ai Jiao (Ayungin Shoal),” the Chinese official said in a briefing. “This position remains unchanged.”   —/mbmf

PH Coast Guard sends supplies to residents of Pag-asa Island

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday said it delivered fishing gears and basic supplies to Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan in Palawan over the weekend.

In a statement, PCG spokesperson Commodore Armando Balilo said they turned over the supplies to the local government of Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) in line with the efforts of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to support the operations of local fishermen in remote territories.

The PCG also ferried provisions for its personnel and policemen stationed on the island.

“Relieving personnel were also transported to provide sufficient rest period to deployed law enforcement teams which is necessary in upholding public health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Balilo said.

PCG Commandant, Admiral Leopoldo Laroya said their routine mission in the country’s maritime zones is part of the agency’s commitment to the government’s whole-of-nation approach in safeguarding national interests through rules-based and peaceful approach.

While on their way to Pag-asa Island, the PCG said it monitored a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel approximately one to two nautical miles away from their vessel but it did not issue a radio challenge.

Pag-asa Island is located some 450 kilometers west of Palawan. It is home to a civilian community and a military outpost.

The presence of Chinese vessels near the island has been reported amid tensions between Manila and Beijing over territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

PCG launches second 97-meter ship in Japan

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday launched its second 97-meter multi-role response vessel (MRRV), the largest in its fleet, at the Shimonoseki Shipyard of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. in Japan.

In a statement, the PCG said the vessel was acquired by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the PCG under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II.

“These MRRV’s modeled after the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) Kunigami-class vessels are expected to improve the PCG’s maritime security and maritime safety capabilities,” the coast guard said.

The PCG said that each of the new MRRVs has a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots, and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles.

The ships are capable of conducting sustained maritime patrols in the country’s maritime jurisdictions, including the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

“The two vessels will significantly boost the capabilities of the PCG in conducting maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations,” the PCG said.

The first MRRV was launched in the same shipyard on July 26, 2021. It is expected to arrive in Manila by March 2022 while the second vessel will follow months later.

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