The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Monday confirmed that a Chinese Coast Guard directed a military-grade laser at their vessel that is conducting a support rotation and resupply with the Philippine Navy.
According to the PCG the incident occurred on February 6, to which the Chinese vessel with bow number 5205 was marked approximately just 4 nautical miles away from the Philippines’ BRP Malapascua, located along the Ayungin Shoal.
Photos showed the Chinese ship shone a green laser light twice to the BRP Malapascua, that caused temporary blindness to its crew.
“The Chinese vessel also made dangerous maneuvers by approaching about 150 yards from the vessel’s starboard side,” the PCG noted.
National Security Adviser Eduardo Año has directed the Philippine Coast Guard to enforce maritime law in the West Philippine Sea with due diligence following the latest incident in Ayungin Shoal with the Chinese Coast Guard.
“They must ensure the safety of our fishermen and support resupply operations to our troops in BRP Sierra Madre,” Año said.
According to the PCG report, the BRP Malapascua was forced to alter their course and headed instead for Lawak Island, just as to continue supporting BRP Teresa Magbanua.
BRP Teresa Magbanua was bringing personnel and supplies for the BRP Sierra Madre, the Philippine Marine Corps outpost in the Ayungin Shoal.
“The deliberate blocking of the Philippine government ships to deliver food and supplies to our military personnel on board the BRP Sierra Madre is a blatant disregard for, and a clear violation of, Philippine sovereign rights in this part of the West Philippine Sea,” the PCG noted.
“The CCG 5205 removed the cover of her 70 mm naval armament when BRP Teresa Magbanua came close to Ayungin Shoal at a distance of 2.5NM.”
“The said CCG ship, together with the two Chinese Maritime Militia (CMM) and CCG 5102, formed a 13NM-radius blockade with the grounded (Philippine Navy) vessel as its reference to prevent Philippine government ships from reaching the AFP troops,” it added.
CurrentPH News Service