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PCG observes more than 100 Chinese warships in the WPS in just seven days.

During a seven-day maritime operation in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) sighted over 100 alleged Chinese maritime militia (CMM) vessels, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy corvette, and two China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels.

The PCG stated in a statement on Friday that the patrol was conducted between April 18 and April 24 in the waters off Sabina Shoal, Iroquis Reef, Lawak, Patag, Likas, Parola, Pag-asa, Tizzard Bank, Julian Felipe Reef, and Ayungin Shoal by two 44-meter PCG vessels, BRP Malapascua and BRP Malabrigo.

“Around Sabina Shoal, 18 Chinese maritime militia warships were spotted. According to the PCG statement, the CMM did not respond to or follow the instruction to leave the area immediately despite multiple radio challenges from the two PCG vessels.

According to the report, four CMM fishing vessels were forced out of the Pag-asa Sea.

On the other hand, at least 17 groups of CMM vessels, totaling more than 100 vessels, were seen around Julian Felipe Reef.

The PCG vessels responded by sending their rigid hull inflatable boats to scatter the sizable CMM crowd.

But it added that none of the CMM vessels “reacted or made any attempts to leave the area.”

On April 21, a PLA Navy ship with bow number 549 radioed the PCG to confront them and order them to leave the area.

“The Chinese navy issued a warning to the PCG, suggesting that failure to comply might cause problems,” it stated.

In response, the PCG ships reaffirmed their authority to conduct operations within Pag-asa Island’s territorial sea and demanded that the Chinese naval ship leave the region immediately.

On April 23, two CCG vessels surrounded Ayungin Shoal and intercepted the two PCG vessels.

In their aggressive behavior toward BRP Malapascua and BRP Malabrigo, respectively, CCG vessels 5201 and 4202 were displayed. According to reports, according to the statement, CCG vessel 5201 engaged in risky maneuvers close to BRP Malapascua while keeping an unsafe distance of only 50 yards.

CCG vessel 4202, on the other hand, followed BRP Malabrigo at a distance of 700 yards to track its activities.

“The PCG has already submitted a report to the National Task Force West Philippine Sea, highlighting the presence of a Chinese warship, the continued appearance of alleged CMM vessels within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as well as the aggressive actions of the CCG against PCG vessels,” the statement read.

The public was reassured that the PCG is closely collaborating with the Western Command of the Philippine Armed Forces and the Area Task Force-West to protect the nation’s sovereign rights in its territorial seas.

In addition, “[we] diligently and tirelessly work together to protect the Philippines’ exclusive sovereign rights in its EEZ, its sovereignty, territory, and continental shelf in the WPS,” the PCG statement said.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada praised the PCG for standing its own in the face of stronger Chinese warships during a press conference held on Friday. He also announced plans to conduct an eye exam in the contested area in June.

Estrada had already introduced Senate Bill No. 2016, also known as the PCG Modernization Act, arguing that it was past due for the military to have better logistical support.

He claimed that the PCG’s resources are insufficient to police the nation’s territorial waters and defend Filipino fishermen against foreign aggressors.

“The PCG is granted authority to carry out five key tasks: environmental protection, law enforcement, search and rescue, and maritime safety. “A fleet of just three offshore patrol vessels would not be sufficient to carry out their hazardous and important tasks, given the colossal task of enforcing regulations following maritime international conventions, treaties, and national laws within the country’s jurisdiction,” he said in a previous statement.

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