PCG seeks int'l condemnation of latest swarming of China militia ships near Julian Felipe Reef
MANILA — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday said it was seeking international condemnation of the latest swarming of Chinese militia ships near Julian Felipe Reef, which is part of the West Philippine Sea.
The PCG earlier said that more than 100 Chinese militia ships from April 18 to 24 swarmed several areas in the West Philippine Sea and ignored Filipino authorities who told them to leave.
"The PCG vessels deployed their Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB) to disperse the large CMM gathering. However, no CMM vessels reacted or made any attempts to vacate the area," the coast guard said in a statement.
Commodore Jay Tristan Tarriela, the PCG spokesperson on the West Philippine Sea, told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo that their approach is to publicize the latest Chinese presence in Philippine waters to "get the international community to condemn" Beijing's behavior.
Tarriela said the PCG was expecting that the Chinese militia ships spotted near Julian Felipe Reef would leave soon.
This is not the first time that Chinese militia ships have been observed near Julian Felipe Reef.
In 2021 and 2022, China ships also swarmed the area but eventually left after the PCG published and "exposed their behavior," said Tarriela.
He hopes that for a third time, the Chinese vessels will clear the Philippine zone.
"Inaasahan natin na ito ulit mangyayari na naman sa pangatlong pagkakataon na after natin isapubliko, after gawin ng DFA ang kanilang diplomatic means, na mapaalis ang mga barko na ito by the time na mag-deploy tayo ulit ng barko diyan," Tarriela said.
"We are expecting that Chinese maritime militia, if not all, umalis or has decreased tremendously 'yung number nila."
The PCG will conduct follow-up operations near Julian Felipe Reef "after a few weeks," according to Tarriela.
— TeleRadyo, April 28, 2023