DFA summons Chinese official over water cannon attack

DFA summons Chinese official over water cannon attack
Screenshot from PCG video

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has summoned a Chinese official in Manila following the water cannoning incident in Bajo de Masinloc.

In a statement, the DFA said it has summoned the Chinese Embassy in Manila Deputy Chief of Mission Zhou Zhiyong as the Philippines demand that Chinese vessels leave Bajo de Masinloc and its vicinity “immediately.”

“The Philippines protested the harassment, ramming, swarming, shadowing, blocking, dangerous maneuvers, use of water cannons, and other aggressive actions by the China Coast Guard and Chinese Maritime Militia against Philippine vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Aquatic Resources (BFAR) en route to Bajo de Masinloc,” it said.

“China’s aggressive actions, particularly its water cannon use, cause damage to vessels of the PCG and BFAR,” it added.

On April 29, during a mission that aims to distribute fuel and food supplies to Filipino fishermen in BDM, the Philippine vessels from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the PCG encountered dangerous maneuvers and obstruction from four China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels and six Chinese Maritime Militia vessels.

A CCG vessel utilized its water cannon against a BFAR vessel at about 12 nautical miles from BDM, while two other Chinese ships employed their jet stream water cannons, targeting the PCG vessel from both sides at about 1,000 yards east-southeast of BDM.

The BFAR vessel was hit in the starboard astern, while the PCG ship sustained a damaged canopy and railing.

On Wednesday, May 1, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela said the CCG used potentially deadly high-pressure water cannons considering that it was able to damage a metal railing.

“Well, if we are going to look at how it bent the railing of the Philippine Coast Guard vessels because of the water cannon, obviously that would be very fatal,” he said.

“This is the first time that the coast guard vessel has been subject to a direct water cannon with that kind of pressure that even resulted in structural damage. It just goes to show that Goliath is becoming more Goliath. They don’t hesitate to use brute force to violate international law,” he added. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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