By Ferdinand Patinio

National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela at the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City on July 6, 2024 (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) continues to document the illegal movements of China, according to National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela.

Tarriela said they are ready to provide pieces of evidence once needed.

“With regard to the transparency efforts of the Philippine Coast Guard, we are documenting the aggression and the illegal presence of the Chinese government in the West Philippine Sea,” he said at the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City.

He said the PCG is leaving it up to the legal experts on to what to do next.

“We are not the legal authority as to how the Department of Justice or the Office of the Solicitor General will make use of our report. We only document the actual incidents that happened and we have tremendous trust in our legal luminaries,” Tarriela said.

He said China’s strategies can no longer be considered just gray zone tactics, or below military armed conflict.

Ang tawag na natin dito (We call these) illegal, coercive, aggressive and deceptive action of Chinese government. We just call them as outright illegal activities,” he said.

“It has been very obvious. Ang ginagawa nila ay (What they do are) violations of the international law, coercion, deception and basically, harassment in deploying of their vessels illegally,” he added.

On Thursday, the Chinese government said it would not pay PHP60 million for the damage and losses its coast guard supposedly inflicted on Philippine Navy assets during an encounter near Ayungin Shoal on June 17.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning, in announcing Beijing’s response, repeated its claims over the waters, which is well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

The latest China aggression happened during the routine resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre.

A Filipino soldier lost his right thumb while the Armed Forces of the Philippines said the Chinese looted their guns and damaged the boats and its navigational and communication equipment. (PNA)