Inaccurate! PCG rejects China's claim its Coast Guard drives away BFAR vessel near Scarborough Shoal

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) denied the claim of its Chinese counterpart that it drove away a ship of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) at the Scarborough Shoal.

Comm. Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson on West Philippine Sea, said the Chinese Coast Guard was referring to the BFAR vessel BRP Datu Sanday that has been conducting patrol on the waters of the Scarborough Shoal.

“This statement is inaccurate. The BFAR vessel, BRP Datu Sanday, continues to patrol the waters of Bajo De Masinloc,” said Tarriela in his post on X (formerly Twitter) in reaction to a post of Chinese state media.

In its report, the Chinese state media said the BFAR vessel illegally intruded into the waters adjacent to the Scarborough Shoal.

The BFAR has been assisting fishermen at the Scarborough Shoal especially amid the increasing tension in the West Philippine Sea over the presence of Chinese Coast Guard ships and militia vessels.

The Scarborough Shoal is around 120 nautical miles west of mainland Luzon, which experts said, is well within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines but is being claimed by China.

Tarriela said the BFAR vessels did not leave the area: “ Currently, the BFAR vessel is actively ensuring the security of Filipino fishermen in that area.”

He said some members of the Philippine media are on board the BFAR vessel.

“Interestingly, some of our media friends are embedded onboard the BFAR vessel, and their forthcoming reports upon completion of the mission will confirm the accuracy of our statement,” said Tarriela.