PCG: China should rethink behavior, presence of journalists in maritime patrols may continue

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 1) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Monday said China should assess its own behavior in the West Philippine Sea as Manila may continue bringing journalists in its patrols so they can witness what is really happening on the ground.

“They should probably consider behaving in accordance with the international law so that there will be no news that would show them in a negative image,” PCG spokesperson for West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela told CNN Philippines' The Source.

He made the comment when asked about the statement issued by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning regarding the April 23 incident when a much larger Chinese Coast Guard vessel maneuvered closely to the Philippines’ BRP Malapascua in the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal. 

This risked the lives of the crew as well journalists from local and international media organizations on board Manila’s vessel.

China tagged the incident as “premeditated provocation designed to deliberately create a friction, and be blamed on China and hyped up in the media.”

Tarriela maintained that the behavior of the Philippine vessel always adhered with regulations and international laws. He also noted that Philippine authorities did not provoke the other party and what they did was part of a routine patrol.

The official said bringing members of the media in their patrols is part of the PCG’s new approach and that this may continue in the future.

“Because every time that there is a bullying incident that is happening, aggressive actions of the Chinese Coast Guard that they are doing, they just keep on ignoring that and saying that those are just made-up stories,” Tarriela pointed out.

“We are now asking the support of the media and international journalists to witness themselves and to attest as to what is really the behavior of China,” he added

In another interview, Senate Minority leader Koko Pimentel said the latest incident at the Ayungin Shoal should serve as a wakeup call to all claimants in the disputed waters to finally come up with a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

“This should really be an eye opener and should alarm all of us because we should avoid a repeat of this incident because who knows in the future baka may actual collision na (there might be an actual collision),” he said.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza on April 28 said the government is studying all its possible actions against China following the incident.