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Philippine coast guard launches 5-day probe into West Philippine Sea collision

Tensions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) have recently come into the spotlight, but according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, Commodore Jay Tarriela, it's not that tensions are rising; it's simply that more incidents are now being publicized. He addressed the issue in a statement on Monday during an interview at the Senate, reported GMA News online.
"I think it's wrong to say that the tension in the WPS is increasing," Commodore Tarriela emphasized. "I would always tell this to the public: the only reason why there are a lot of news that is being publicized in the past months since we started the transparency initiative last February is because the national government is allowing the public to be aware of what's happening."
Tarriela clarified, however, that he could not speak for the previous incidents in the WPS before his designation as PCG WPS spokesperson. He continued, "But what I am saying... there were reported incidents, as numerous as now, because we are telling the public what is happening… There is no escalation. But as what I mentioned, there is a collision because of the aggressive behavior and dangerous maneuver of China Coast Guard (CCG) and Chinese maritime militia."
This assertion was followed by Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, who stated on Monday that President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. took the latest collision incident off Ayungin Shoal very seriously. President Marcos directed the PCG to investigate the incident, in which a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel collided with a Philippine resupply boat off Ayungin Shoal.

The President called for a command conference to discuss China's latest violation in the resource-rich region, according to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Monday. For its part, the PCG confirmed that the investigation would take approximately five days to complete.
The incident in question occurred on Sunday when two Philippine supply boats, escorted by two Philippine Coast Guard vessels, were en route to Ayungin Shoal to deliver food and other supplies to the grounded Philippine warship BRP Sierra Madre. China, however, claimed that the supply vessel "trespassed"