PCG official 'disheartened' by Pinoys' distrust in coast guard capability

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14) — Questioning the coast guard's capability to protect the West Philippine Sea (WPS) was "disheartening to hear," an official said.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson for WPS Commodore Jay Tarriela said he "wholeheartedly stand[s] by the Commandant and the 30,000 courageous men and women of the Philippine Coast Guard, who are dedicated to fulfilling our patriotic duty in the West Philippine Sea."

He stressed that they would continue protecting Philippine waters regardless of aid from foreign partners.

"It is disheartening to hear doubts cast on our capabilities to carry out this duty without the support of other external actors," Tarriela said in a statement on Thursday.

"The Filipino people can rest assured that the PCG is resolute in our commitment to safeguarding our Exclusive Economic Zone. Despite any limitations we may encounter, we are unwavering in our determination to patrol and protect our waters with the assets available to us," he added.

The coast guard official did not specify which country he was referring to. However, during a hearing earlier this week, a senator asked if the presence of a US aircraft contributed to the success of the recent resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal.

READ: Senator: Did presence of US aircraft contribute to success of Ayungin resupply mission?

Chinese vessels previously blocked the Philippine government's resupply mission by firing water cannons.