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PH vessel 'rammed' by Chinese ship near Ayungin Shoal - PCG

PH vessel ‘rammed’ by Chinese ship near Ayungin Shoal – PCG

by Carl Santos

A FILIPINO vessel that is part of the rotation and resupply mission (RORE) to the BRP Sierra Madre in the Ayungin Shoal was ”rammed” by a Chinese coast guard ship, an official from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Sunday.

”Regular RORE to BRP Sierra Madre this morning. BRP Cabra, Unaizah Mae 1, and M/L Kalayaan water cannoned by China Coast Guard. M/L Kalayaan suffered serious engine damage. Contrary to China Coast Guard disinformation, UM1 rammed by CCG vessel,” Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said on X, formerly Twitter. 

Tarriela accompanied his post with a photo and video of the incident.

For its part, China accused the Philippine vessel of “deliberately colliding” with a Chinese coast guard ship.

Four Philippine vessels had “illegally intruded” into the waters of the Chinese-claimed Spratly Islands on Sunday morning, China’s coast guard said in a statement, adding that a Philippine vessel “disregarded our multiple stern warnings… and changed direction suddenly in an unprofessional, dangerous manner, deliberately colliding with our Coast Guard Vessel 21556.”

Resupply and rotation missions to the BRP Sierra Madre, a Philippine Navy ship, have become frequent triggers of diplomatic spats between the Philippines and China. 

Manila accuses Chinese vessels of harassing and blocking Philippine boats delivering food, water and materials for badly needed repairs.

Beijing, which has urged Manila to remove the ship, insists the Philippine vessels are infringing on China’s territorial sovereignty.

Ayungin Shoal is about 200 kilometers (120 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan, and more than 1,000 kilometers from China’s nearest major landmass, Hainan island. 

On Saturday, the Philippines accused the Chinese coast guard of using water cannons to “obstruct” three government boats delivering provisions to Filipino fishermen near Scarborough Shoal, which is within Manila’s exclusive economic zone under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

But Chinese state television said the country’s coast guard had used “control measures in accordance with the law” against the Philippine vessels that had “intruded” into the waters around the shoal.

China snatched control of Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines in 2012, following a tense standoff. 

with a report from Agence France-Presse



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