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Chinese Coast Guars vessel seen violating COLREFS in Bajo de Masinloc

March 27, 2022 Jun I. Legaspi 354 views

THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel, BRP Malabrigo (MRRV-4402) has reported close distances maneuvering incident involving a Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel during its maritime patrol operations in Bajo de Masinloc on March 2, 2022.

Coast Guard personnel monitored the CCG vessel with bow number 3305 that conducted a close distance maneuvering of approximate 21 yards toward BRP Malabrigo (MRRV-4402) while the said PCG vessel was sailing at the vicinity waters off Bajo de Masinloc. This costrained the maneuvering space of BRP Malabrigo (MRRV-4402) – a clear violation of the 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collission at Sea (COLREGS).

According to PCG Commandant CG Admiral M. Abu, the incident was the fourth reported close distance maneuvering incident involving CCG vessels in Bajo de Masinloc.

On May 19, 2021, PCG-manned BFAR vessel, MCS-3005 reported the first incident of close distance maneuvering incident involving a CCG vessel with bow number 3301.

The second and third incidents involved two CCG (bow numbers: 3301 and 3303) that conducted closed distance maneuvering with BRP Capones (MRRV-4404) and BRP Sandingan (MRRV-4407) during PCG´s maritime capability enhancement exercises in Bajo de Masinloc on June 1,2 2021.

“The behavior of the involved CCG vessels has increased the risk of collission with four of our capital ships. Hence we immediately coordinated with the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to address the issue through rules-based and peaceful approached ,” the Coast Guard Commandant said.

Meanwhile, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade has directed the PCG to continue upholding its mission of promoting the safety of life and property at sea and enforcing all applicable law within the Philippine waters in support of national development.

“We are fully aware of dangerous situations at sea, but these will not stop our deplopment of assets and personnel in Bajo de Masinloc, Philippine Rise, and other parts of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ)” CG Admiral Abu expressed.

“We will continue to silently and diligently for we are serving Filipino fishermen at sea. As long as they fell safe seeeing US during their fishing operations, we know that we are doing our job well,” the Coast Guard Commandant added.