'Let's not suffer silently': PCG defends exposing China’s hostilities in WPS

Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2023 01:57 PM

MANILA – A Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) official and maritime security expert on Wednesday said the Philippines should expose China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea as it is the “best way” to address the latter’s gray zone operations in the disputed waters.

PCG's West Philippine Sea spokesperson and adviser for maritime security Commodore Jay Tarriela said disclosing China’s supposed bullying behavior may compel them to obey international law.
“Let us not allow ourselves to suffer silently because of their harassments and hostile actions,” Tarriela said.
“The best way to address Chinese gray zone activities in the West Philippine Sea is to expose it. In the very near future, it is almost impossible that the Philippines can get close to China’s military and economic power. However, it does not mean that we can’t do anything to change their bully behavior and compel them to obey the international law,” he added.

PCG’s recent exposé was the pointing of a “military-grade laser light” of a Chinese coastguard at one of is boats in the West Philippine Sea, temporarily blinding Filipino crew members.
The incident happened on Feb. 6 nearly 20 kilometers from Ayungin Shoal in the Spratly Islands, where Philippine marines are stationed, the coast guard said in a statement.

“To expose the bullying behavior and aggressive actions of China is [PCG’s] most important contribution in countering the gray zone activities in the Indo Pacific. The Philippine Coast Guard’s role now of becoming a mouthpiece…allows the like-minded states to express condemnation and reproach which puts Beijing in the spotlight,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tarriela also urged the Philippine government to support the modernization of the PCG to increase its capability in monitoring gray zone activities in various parts of the country.
“Right now, there were already reports of incursions in our northern territories and the eastern seaboard, particularly Benham Rise,” he said.

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