MANILA, Philippines — By issuing a radio challenge, the Philippine Coast Guard dispersed five Chinese ships and two Vietnamese ships from the Marie Louise Bank in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) last week, the PCG said yesterday.
Commodore Armand Balilo, PCG spokesman, said the BRP Cabra spotted the seven foreign ships in the vicinity of Marie Louise Bank, located 147 nautical miles off El Nido, in Palawan on June 30.
Since the foreign ships were within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), BRP Cabra issued the radio challenge and required the vessels to provide the name of their vessel, their intention, and their last and next port of call.
Balilo said the female radio operator used Cabra’s Long Range Acoustic Device for the radio challenge in accordance with the PCG Manual on Rules on the Use of Force within the country’s EEZ.
He said the foreign vessels were monitored via radar and the automatic identification system.
Afterward, the BRP Cabra checked on the condition of 34 Filipino fishermen on board F/B Xiroxira from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro which was also in the area.