Hotline between PH, China coast guards now defunct – PCG

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 12) — The Philippine Coast Guard's (PCG) "hotline" to its Chinese counterpart is now defunct, and only the Department of Foreign Affairs' direct line of communication with Beijing exists.

"Hindi na natin ginagamit ang [We're no longer using the] PCG CCG (Chinese Coast Guard) hotline…Wala na po [It no longer exists]…It hasn't provided so much benefits for us. Wala naman tayong na-gain dito [We didn't gain anything from this]," said PCG West Philippine Sea spokesperson Jay Tarriela.

According to Tarriela, a memorandum of understanding was signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 in Beijing, creating the hotline. It was established a year later.

READ: PH, China establish hotline for coast guard diplomacy

"I would say that for all maritime incidents [with China] that happened in the past six years noong nakaraang adminstrasyon [even in the past administration], this hotline was attempted to be used. Unfortunately, it never really gave a positive result para magkaroon ng pag-uusap [to give us a chance to talk]," he said.

Beijing also ghosted Manila during the Aug. 5 incident, when a Chinese coast guard vessel used a water cannon on Philippine boats on a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.

READ: China 'unreachable' during water cannon incident in West Philippine Sea - DFA

"[T]he memorandum of understanding between CCG and PCG was no longer renewed when President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. went to Beijing last January. This is one of the MOUs proposed by the Chinese Embassy pero [but] this time hindi ito na-renew [it was not renewed]," Tarriela added.