PH wants answers on China water cannon incident

By ABS-CBN News

Feb. 25, 2014

CEBU CITY – The Philippines will ask China to explain reports that the Chinese Coast Guard fired water cannon at Filipino fishermen to drive them away from Panatag Shoal last month.

President Aquino noted the need to first confirm the incident, pointing out that Filipino fishermen were able to fish in the shoal Monday.

Authorities will gather testimonies to establish proof that the incident happened before the Department of Foreign Affairs can file a diplomatic protest.

Aquino said he only learned of the incident, which reportedly took place on January 27, much later.

“The first step will be a diplomatic message… directed at the People’s Republic of China to ask them to explain what this incident was all about and what their directions are,” Aquino told reporters after leading the commemoration of the People Power anniversary.

“And may I add na medyo inconsistent rin yung nangyari dyan. We’re not sure at this point in time if we can call it their standard operating procedure. Kasi as of yesterday, we had fishermen inside the shoal, inside the shoal who are not being harassed or intimidated by any entity. So ayaw naman natin mag-react kung one of incident ‘to that they probably will say was acting not under their orders but out of ‘yung para bang dinesisyunan ng kapitan ng particular boat na ‘yun.

“But be that as it may, I think it is proper for us to ask them exactly what this incident was all about, what their intentions are. And the DFA and the DND, after conferring and after getting the necessary proof… I’m sure… is already drafting the appropriate communications.”

Armed Forces chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista earlier said the Chinese coast guard tried to drive away Filipino fishing vessels to the extent of using water cannon last January 27.

He did not say if anyone was hurt and added that China continues to maintain an armed coast guard and other vessels at the shoal.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did not directly address the allegation when asked about it on Monday.

“I don’t know anything about the specific situation that you just mentioned, but I want to emphasize that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and their surrounding maritime territory. The relevant Chinese maritime forces are also carrying out normal official patrols in that area,” she told reporters in Beijing.

Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal lies 220 kilometers (135 miles) off the main Philippine island of Luzon. It is about 650 kilometers from Hainan island, the nearest major Chinese land mass.

China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea’s 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq mile) waters. The sea provides 10 percent of the global fish catch, carries $5 trillion in ship-borne trade a year and is believed to be rich in energy.

Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam also claim parts of the sea.

The Philippines has taken its dispute with China to arbitration under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea but China is refusing to participate in the case.

12 Comments on this post.

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  • Jeremy Chia
    25 February 2014 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Yes, Philippines needed the help of United States and its Allies, because China are too strong and modern than the Philippines,

  • jun malayba
    25 February 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    I know China will never listen to any the diplomatic actions. She wants to stand her position as the boss of the small countries in Asia. They know that they are on the peak of their militarization so it is their time to invade small nations. I think my answer is to retaliate through military action.

  • Efren Toribio
    25 February 2014 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    di tyo dapat tumigil at di dapat matakot. sacrificio lang kailangan para makita ng buong mundo
    kaswapañgan ng china at makukuha din natin simpatia ng
    ibang bansa.

  • kuya juan
    25 February 2014 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    send more fishermen and dont be scared. they cant shoot our fishermen
    because if they do, that will be the start of their down fall.

  • Kikay Pang0
    26 February 2014 at 3:57 am - Reply

    The Philippines strongly protests,the Chinese tell the Philippines to “Fu%k off”. The Philippines will now do nothing, there young men are too busy squatting on other people’s land, drinking alcohol and singing karaoke to care about any of this and expect Americans waste billions and die for them.

  • Dewey
    26 February 2014 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Did you know that China is the only country in the world that doesnt have CHINATOWN

  • pedro
    26 February 2014 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    get the 12 Japanese boat and use it in protecting our fishermen
    and territorial water.

  • Juan
    26 February 2014 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    For every century there is one country to control the world, US leadership is over, 21th Century is for China. Expect them for 100 yrs, of land grabbing, and pumping out all the oil/gas on the disputed islands.China had forgotten that the mother of the President (Cory) kicked out the American bases…Mga “tsekua” ay walang utang na loob, si Cory ang nagpalakas sa kanila….

  • philman
    26 February 2014 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    we need to unite and support our armed forces.

  • Delia
    26 February 2014 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Where are the million Illegal Filipinos fighting America for TPS ? why dont they go home and fight China ?

    • cat_idiot
      27 February 2014 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      sige mauna po kayo, mahusay yan naisip nyo

    • dog_idiot
      28 February 2014 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      @Delia… They ran across the borders to Mexico and Canada. You scared them away by saying that US military has no strength and were afraid that China is going to invade America….

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