“This is Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409). You are within Philippine exclusive economic zone. You are requested to provide the following: name of vessel, intention, last and next port of call on Channel 16,” this is the message sent by BRP Cabra, through radio communication, to seven Chinese Maritime Militia (CMM) vessels spotted in Sabina Shoal on April 27.
BRP Cabra was accompanied by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessels MCS 3002 and 3004. Sabina Shoal is located 130NM west of Puerto Princesa, Palawan and east of Ayungin Shoal.
According to National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon, who is also the chairman of National Task Force-West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS), “the crew of BRP Cabra issued a series of challenges to the offending vessels, but elicited no response from the CMMs.”
“After around twenty (20) minutes, however, the CMMs vessels dispersed and left the shoal after being challenged by BRP Cabra,” Esperon added.
“Two days later, on 29 April 2021, the BRP Cabra returned to Sabina Shoal and again, observed five (5) CMMs. The CMMs left the area upon the arrival of BRP Cabra,” he said.