MANILA - Malacañang described as an “aggressive act” the attempt of a reported Taiwanese vessel to ram into a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessel that prompted the Philippine Coast Guard personnel to fire at the vessel seen near Batanes.
“It was an aggressive act. The ramming of the boat into our vessel was certainly an aggressive act. So the PCG responded accordingly. Nag-warning shot sila, hindi po tumigil. They took the other necessary action and I understand eventually disengaged after that. So let’s see kung ano pa ho ang mailalabas ng investigation ng PCG,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
Valte however stressed that she is citing an initial report of the PCG and that the government will have to wait for the results of the investigation before making a comment on reports that Taiwan is asking for an apology.
“I reiterate that the information that I shared with you is part of the initial report that was given by the PCG and the BFAR. May inorder na po si Commandant (Rodolfo) Isorena na investigation on the matter. Tingnan po natin kung ano pa ‘yung further details na mailalabas ‘nung investigation,” she said.
Citing the initial report of the PCG, Valte said the PCG personnel had tried to board the vessels after detecting them “in archipelagic waters.”
The PCG fired a warning shot when one the foreign vessels was about to ram the BFAR vessel.
“Meron silang nadetect na apat na foreign fishing vessels in archipelagic waters. In an effort to apprehend or magbo-board po sila… Nung sinusubukan pong to board… one of the vessels, ni-ram po nung isa ang ating, the BFAR vessel which is being manned by the Coast Guard. So nag-fire po ng warning shot, hindi pa din daw po tumigil ‘yung mga vessels in an attempt to continuously ram the BFAR vessel. Nag-fire daw po sila ng isa pang shot doon sa machinery portion ng ship,” Valte said.
Valte is deferring to the Department of Foreign Affairs for the government’s next steps.