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Thursday, June 13, 2024

PCG sends BRP Teresa Magbanua to intensify monitoring against China’s illegal acts on Escoda Shoal

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The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has deployed BRP Teresa Magbanua, one of its largest patrol vessels, to keep a close eye on the reported illegal activities of China on Escoda Shoal—a sandbank located just 75 nautical miles from the coastline of Palawan.

In a news release on Sunday, Malacañang said this was done to intensify the Philippines’ vigilance in the area amid China’s brazen attempt at creating artificial islands by destroying coral reefs in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

According to PCG spokesman for WPS Commodore Jay Tarriela, two smaller patrol vessles—BRP Cabra and BRP Malabrigo—have also been doing rotational deployment on the same area to help the government document Beijing’s alarming expansionist agenda.

Tarriela said that they have monitored a total of 34 Chinese Maritime Militia Vessels on Escoda Shoal with the People’s Liberation Army Navy vessels and helicopters and four other China Coast Guard vessels.

What the PCG is “extensively monitoring,” Tarriela said, are the three Chinese Research vessels, including its “mother boat” that receive data and information from two small boats swarming around Escoda Shoal apparently conducting exploratory activities.

Tarriela said that they have already sent rigid hull inflatable boats to intercept, or at least get closer to the Chinese vessels.

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