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Chinese Blocking Philippine Medical Evacuation was “Barbaric” Says PCG

Chinese Coast Guard
Chinese repeated attempted to block the Philippines Coast Guard's small boat (Cmdr. Tarriela)

Published Jun 7, 2024 12:17 PM by The Maritime Executive


In the ongoing confrontations between the Chinese and the Philippines Coast Guard in the South China Sea, the Philippines escalated the war of words. In a release with videos, the spokesperson for the Philippine Coast Guard, Commodore Jay Tarriela, is accusing China of “barbaric and inhume behavior” in attempting to block a medical evacuation.

The events that came to light today reportedly took place on May 19. Separately, the Philippine military chief Romeo Brawney said it took place over two days. He accused China of blocking the first attempt at a medical evacuation but said they were able to complete the mission the following day.

The Chinese foreign ministry responded to the accusations saying that it requires advance notification but it would permit the evacuation and supply of personnel. They, however, said they would not let the Philippines use this as an “excuse to transport” construction materials to the disputed Second Thomas Shoal area and the grounded vessel BRP Sierra Madre, which the Philippines uses as a base.

 

 

Supported by the videos, Tarriela says they were dispatching a high-speed response boat to an agreed location to meet up with a rigid hull inflatable that was carrying the sick marine from the base. He is asserting that the Chinese were informed by radio and public address systems about the nature of the evacuation.

“What should have been a simple medical evacuation operation was subjected to harassment, with the excessive deployment of two China Coast Guard vessels, two small boats, and two rubber boats,” stated Tarriela.

He is accusing the Chinese of intentionally ramming the rigid hull inflatable and dangerous maneuvers. The Chinese he said were repeatedly blocking the two boats and harassing the Filipinos. 

 

 

Ultimately, he says their forces were able to outmaneuver the Chinese crafts and complete the mission. 

Today’s statement came after the Philippines and China traded accusations during the week. China asserted that the Philippine forces pointed firearms at Chinese personnel during a close-in encounter in the disputed area after cutting nets and seizing fishing material from the Chinese at the lagoon. The Philippines responded by accusing Chinese forces of seizing essential supplies that were air-dropped to the garrison on the BRP Sierra Madre.