Filipino vessel damaged in collision with Chinese coast guard — PCG

A coast guard vessel sustained minor damage during an alleged collision with a Chinese Coast Guard ship, an official reported on Tuesday.

Commodore Jay Tarriela, spokesperson for West Philippine Sea (WPS) matters, stated that patrol vessels BRP Cabra and BRP Sindangan encountered “dangerous maneuvers and blocking” from the Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia during a resupply mission to troops stationed at BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.

“Their reckless and illegal actions led to a collision between [BRP Sindangan] and China Coast Guard 21555 that resulted in minor structural damage to the PCG vessel,” Tarriela said.

The ongoing resupply mission involves two civilian contracted boats supported by PCG and Philippine Navy ships.

According to a report from the Global Times, a state-controlled Chinese media company, the Chinese Coast Guard “lawfully took control measures against a Philippine vessel illegally entering the waters adjacent to Ren’ai Jiao,” which is the Chinese name for Ayungin Shoal.

Despite an international court ruling deeming China’s sovereignty claims over the South China Sea as having no legal basis, Chinese vessels regularly interfere with Philippine patrol and supply boats in the contested waters, leading to collisions and the use of water cannons.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. stated on Monday that the Philippines will cooperate with China in addressing tensions in the resource-rich waters but will defend its sovereign rights when necessary.

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