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Gov't highlights role of media in 'destroying China’s false narratives' on WPS

MANILA, Philippines — The National Security Council on Tuesday said that the presence of reporters on the country’s resupply missions to Ayungin Shoal helped disprove China's claims that it was a Philippine vessel that provoked a Chinese vessel in the tense waterways.

Reportage and video footage of China’s dangerous maneuvers helped “destroy the false narratives” coming from Chinese government officials, NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ "The Source."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning has accused the Philippines of "continuing to spread false information and hype things up" following the Philippine government’s condemnation of China’s interference in a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre, wherein a Chinese vessel bumped into a Philippine Coast Guard vessel in a “dangerous and provocative” act.

Malaya said that the media reported on the incident as first-hand witnesses. “That’s why China is getting mad at the presence of the media, because they are losing the information war.”

In an interview with ANC’s "Headstart", Malaya also said that there is enough evidence in the photo and video footage showing that the Chinese vessel had hit Coast Guard vessel BRP Cabra even after the Filipino boat’s captain had turned off the engine. 

“Clearly as shown by videos and photos that we have released and also by the report of ABS CBN itself — Bianca Dava was there — the entire world now knows that the collision that happened at the West Philippine Sea was caused by the dangerous maneuvers of CCG acting in concert with the Chinese maritime militia,” Malaya said.

Malaya added that the false narratives coming from Beijing are fanning even more diplomatic tensions between the Philippines and China.

“We should take statements from China with a grain of salt because their statements collapse in the face of overwhelming evidence,” he told ANC’s "Headstart."

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered an investigation into the collision incident, Malaya said, with a report by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) expected to be submitted to the president within five days.

PCG Spokesperson Jay Tarriela previously told a