Lawmaker condemns China water cannon offensive in West PH Sea
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Tolentino has denounced the use of water cannons by a China Coast Guard vessel against boats of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) bringing supplies to Filipino fishermen near Bajo de Masinloc on Saturday.
“We strongly condemn China’s use of water cannons against civilian research vessels near Bajo de Masinloc within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, undermining peace and stability in the region,” Tolentino said in a statement.
On Saturday, the Chinese Coast Guard vessel aimed a water eight times at BFAR vessels Datu Sanday, Datu Bankaw, and Datu Tamblot en route to 30 Filipino fishing vessels near Bajo de Masinloc.
Tolentino expressed hope that the international community will unite against such acts and that generosity and goodwill will not be overshadowed by intimidation.
“As a flotilla of civilian Filipino vessels prepare to deliver Christmas gifts within the Philippine EEZ, we hope the international community will remain united against harassment and that the festive spirit of generosity and goodwill will not be overshadowed by the forces of intimidation,” Tolentino added.
The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea has also condemned the incident, and insisted that the Chinese vessels leave Bajo de Masinloc.
“We firmly insist that these Chinese vessels leave Bajo de Masinloc immediately,” Philippine Coast Guard Spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Jay Tarriela said in a statement.