PCG: Chinese Coast Guard vessel involved in “close distance maneuvering” towards PCG vessel in Bajo de Masinloc

(Eagle News)–A Chinese Coast Guard vessel performed a “close distance maneuvering” in Bajo de Masinloc that constrained the maneuvering space of a Philippine Coast Guard vessel, a violation of international rules at sea, the PCG said.

According to the PCG, the CCG vessel with bow number 3305 performed the maneuvering approximately 21 yards towards BRP Malabrigo, which was conducting patrol operations on March 2.

The PCG said the resulting constraint in the maneuvering space of BRP Malabrigo was a “clear violation” of the 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

PCG Commandant Artemio Abu said this was the fourth close maneuvering incident involving CCG vessels, with the first taking place on May 19, and the other two incidents on June 1 and 2.

“The behavior of the involved CCG ships increased the risk of collision with four of our capital ships,” he said.

He said the PCG “immediately coordinated with the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea and the Department of Foreign Affairs to address this issue through rules-based and peaceful approaches.”

According to Abu, while they were aware of the “dangerous situations at sea,” these “will not stop our deployment of assets and personnel in Bajo de Masinloc, Philippine Rise and other parts of the country’s exclusive economic zones.”

“We will continue to silently and diligently for we are serving Filipino fishermen at sea,” he added.