By GISELLE OMBAY, GMA Integrated News
A Chinese vessel again maneuvered dangerously against Philippine vessels on their way to Ayungin Shoal for this month’s resupply mission, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Wednesday.
“Dangerous maneuvers once again in today’s resupply mission,” Zubiri told reporters as he shared videos from the Philippine Coast Guard showing the incident.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), former US Air Force official and former Defense Attaché Ray Powell said that a total of 12 Chinese militia ships were deployed supposedly to enforce the “blockade” of the resupply mission in the Ayungin Shoal or Second Thomas Shoal.
PCG’s BRP Cabra and BRP Sindangan were the ones escorting the resupply boats past Sabina Shoal, he said.
The Philippine Navy’s BRP Ramon Alcaraz, meanwhile, was positioned to the south for support.
Powell said a China Coast Guard ship was shadowing PCG, with two more present around the area.
In early September, Chinese vessels also performed dangerous maneuvers against Philippine ships bound to Ayungin Shoal for a resupply mission.
A Philippine ship, BRP Sierra Madre, has been grounded at the Ayungin Shoal since 1999. A dozen marines and sailors are aboard the ship, which has become a symbol of Philippine sovereignty in the offshore territory.
It was the fourth resupply mission after the August 5 incident when China Coast Guard used water cannons against the PCG fleet conducting a similar mission.