Manila- Last week the Philippine Coast Guard MCS-3004 were locked in a two-hour standoff in waters of Batanes after Taiwan declared it owned parts of Batanes.

PCG, MCS-3004 once again spotted a Taiwan Coast Guard ship near the coast of Itbayat, Batanes.

The PCG MCS-3004 made immediate contact through radio upon seeing the Taiwan vessel to fend it off the country’s territorial waters.

The PCG warned the vessel that it’s within 23 nautical miles east of Itbayat, which is within the Philippine territory.

However the Taiwan Coast Guard, insisted that the area is within their exclusive economic zone.

Philippine Coast Guard MCS-3004 Commander Angel Viliran said, “For them to say that their territorial claims reaches all the way here wouldn’t make sense. Even a first grader can say that this island are part of the Philippines.”

PCG, MCS-3004 was alone and did not have any contact with the Philippine Coast Guard headquarters or any government unit.

That time a cargo vessel with a Filipino captain sailed by and overheard the exchange over the radio. He agreed to document what transpired and relayed the information through the nearest frequency going to Luzon in case something happen to MCS-3004.

As the standoff continuous with no support, the crew of the MCS-3004 found courage by singing the “Lupang Hinirang” which is the Philippine national anthem.

The PCG, MCS-3004 again contacted the Taiwan vessel and ask their counterpart to reconfirm their location and territorial claim and leave the island.

The argument lasted for two hours and only ended after the Taiwan vessel left the area.

PCG spokesman Commander Armando Balilo explained that the area is within the Philippines’ contiguous zone as per the United Nations Convention on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The two governments, however, are currently working on a fisheries agreement, which will define protocols on fishing and where it could be done.

The PCG already had five encounters with Taiwan since more than a month ago.

Last May 25, the PCG also had a four hour standoff with the Taiwan Coast Guard in Batanes.

The PCG added that it apprehended on Thursday (June 11) a Taiwanese fishing boat bearing a Philippine flag.

By: Carl E.