- The video of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ship, BRP Cabra, successfully challenging and driving away seven Chinese vessels that were anchored off the Sabina Shoal, has gone viral
- The area where the confrontation happened is among the domain of patrol of BRP Cabra and when it chanced upon the Chinese vessels it immediately issued a challenge
- In the video, a loud female voice, identified later as belonging to P/Ensign Gretch Mary Acuario, a lawyer and member of the PCG, can be heard issuing a challenge to the vessels, which looked similar to the huge vessels anchored off Julian Felipe Reef
- The Sabina Shoal is only 117 kilometers off the coast of Palawan and is well within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone
The video of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ship, BRP Cabra, challenging seven Chinese vessels anchored off the Sabina Shoal, 117 kilometers off the coast of Palawan, has gone viral.
The video clearly showed the huge vessels grouped together, which is similar to the formation of fleets of Chinese vessels in the Julian Felipe reef area.
BRP Cabra, through lawyer and PCG member Provisional Ensign Gretch Mary Acuario, then issued a challenge to the foreign vessels.
“Unidentified foreign vessel at Sabina Shoal, this is Philippine Coast Guard BRP Cabra MRRV 4409,” P/Ensign Acuario announced in a loud voice.
“You are within Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone,” she continued and then proceeded to request information from the vessels.
“You are requested to provide the following: name of vessel, intention, last and next port of call, on channel one-six,” P/Ensign Acuario challenged.
Unfortunately, the vessels did not respond but one by one, they raised anchor and left the place.
P/Ensign Acuario, who is a law graduate of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines said she is mighty proud of what she did and feels honored to be among those protecting the country from foreign intrusion.
The West Philippine Sea / South China Sea dispute involves both island and maritime claims by several sovereign states within the region, which include Brunei, the People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. An estimated US$3.37 trillion worth of global trade passes through the area annually, accounting for a third of the global maritime trade.
In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will discuss the arbitral ruling over the West Philippine Sea in his official visit to China that year. He emphasized, however, that he does not want any dispute against China.
The President also wanted China to guarantee the safety of Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea. Duterte discussed the matter during the bilateral meetings with China in 2019. The Palace reiterated that a diplomatic protest was already filed against China.
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