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PCG: ‘Atin Ito’ WPS mission, win for PH

<p>PCG spokesperson for the WPS Commodore Jay Tarriela <em>(PNA photo by Priam Nepomuceno)</em></p>

MANILA – The aid mission of civilian group ‘Atin Ito Coalition’ is already a victory for the Philippines even without the convoy reaching very close to the Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal), a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) official said on Wednesday.

Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea (WPS), said the group could consider its job done once it managed to resupply Filipino fisherfolk in the area of the Bajo de Masinloc.

“The primary objective of the ‘Atin Ito Coalition’ is to provide aid to Filipino fishermen fishing (in the area of Bajo de Masinloc). Filipino fishermen generally do not mingle with the China Coast Guard,” Tarriela said in Filipino on the sidelines of the Philippine Information Agency’s press conference on the WPS.

Once a large grouping of Filipino fishing vessels were spotted and with no Chinese ships in sight, he said the “Atin Ito Coalition” could approach these ships and give them the aid.

On Wednesday, the group’s convoy successfully installed buoys bearing the words ‘WPS Atin Ito’ within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The group also completed the first round of distributing supplies, including fuel and food packs, to Filipino fishers. 

The contingent is set to proceed to the second phase of its voyage, aimed at reaching Panatag Shoal for another round of supply distribution to Filipino fisherfolk in the area. (PNA)

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