Philippines: Chinese Guard Guard Again Water Cannons Philippine Supply Vessels
Philippine Coast Guard: "The water cannon fired by the Chinese Coast Guard resulted in "significant damage" to the communications and navigation equipment of the BFAR vessel Datu Tamblot".
WEST PHILIPPINE SEA - For the third time since August of this year the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has reported the Chinese Coast Guard spraying a water cannon at Philippine supply boats and Coast Guard vessels, an act that the PCG reported occurred at least 8 times at the time their statement was released.
New Update Notes: Philippine Statement Added To Bottom Of Article
The PCG reported that the incident occurred against the civilian Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessels Datu Sanday, Datu Bankaw, and Datu Tamblot during a regular BFAR humanitarian and support mission "providing oil subsidy and grocery packs to over 30 Filipino fishing vessels near Bajo De Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea".
The statement released by the PCG said as the BFAR vessels approached within 1.4 to 1.9 nautical miles of Bajo de Masinloc, the Chinese Coast Guard vessels used water cannons on the Philippine BFAR vessels to "obstruct and prevent BFAR vessels from approaching the Filipino fishing vessels eagerly awaiting the oil subsidy and grocery packs".
It also reported that the water cannon fired by the Chinese Coast Guard resulted in "significant damage" to the communications and navigation equipment of the BFAR vessel Datu Tamblot, and said that the vessel was "directly and deliberately targeted" by the Chinese Coast Guard vessel.
Furthermore, it said that the Chinese Coast Guard released a small boat in order to "illegally" install a floating barrier at the southeast entrance of Bajo De Masinloc. The actions of the Chinese Coast Guard and Chinese Maritime Militia it said, "hindered the BFAR vessel from accessing the entrance of the shoal".
"We stress that Bajo de Masinloc is a high-tide feature with the territorial sea, per the 2016 Arbitral Award. It forms an integral part of the Philippine national territory under the Constitution. The Philippines exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction over the shoal and its territorial sea," the PCG statement said.
"We firmly insist that these Chinese vessels leave Bajo de Masinloc immediately.
We demand that the Chinese government take immediate action to halt these aggressive activities and uphold the principles of international law and desist from actions that would infringe on Philippine Sovereignty and endanger the lives and livelihood of Filipino fishermen who have traditionally fished in the area," the statement concluded.