Photo from PCG FB page

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) released a video of BRP Teresa Magbanua radio challenging a Vietnamese fishing vessel at Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea on February 9.

In a statement, the PCG said that a rigid hull inflatable boat was also deployed to conduct boarding and inspection of the foreign vessel.

However, its crew maneuvered to leave the area when they saw the PCG’s RHIBs, the PCG said.

“The foreign fishing vessel, upon seeing the deployment of RHIBs, secured its lines and immediately departed Recto Bank escorted by MRRV-9701,” the PCG reported.

“As the PCG steadily strengthens and increases its maritime patrol, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), it remains firmly committed to safeguarding Philippine interests and rights within the bounds of international law and conventions,” it added.

The PCG said radio challenging the crew of the Vietnamese-flagged vessel is complying with the directive of President Bongbong Marcos Jr. “to strengthen and increase” its presence and operations in the WPS.

It said PCG commandant, Adm. Artemio Abu, had deployed one of their fleet’s largest maritime assets, BRP Teresa Magbanua, to patrol the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG).

“Shortly after its deployment to the KIG on January 28, 2023, the crew of MRRV-9701 boarded Filipino Fishing Boats (FFBs) in the waters in and around the KIG to advise Filipino fishermen and crew to radio PCG or the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) shore units in the area for any needed assistance,” the PCG shared.