Latest Stories

Shoal face off: 1 PH Coast Guard vessel vs 4 Chinese vessels


MANILA, Philippines – The BRP Pampanga, a Philippine Coast Guard search and rescue vessel, Monday faced off with four Chinese vessels at the Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) as the territorial impasse between the Philippines and China over the rock formation reached its 13th day, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, in a local cable news interview, said the government would not recall the Coast Guard ship from the shoal, which Beijing has been referring to as Huangyan Island.

“We will leave when we’re ready to leave, not when we’re told to leave,” said Del Rosario, who later sprained his left ankle before attending a meeting at Malacañang, preventing him from attending Monday’s scheduled news conference at the DFA headquarters in Pasay City.

The DFA head asserted anew the country’s sovereign rights over Bajo de Masinloc, located 124 nautical miles west of Zambales province.

Manila, he said, would press ahead with its plan to bring the dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (Itlos), based in Hamburg, Germany.

Del Rosario also announced that a “career diplomat” would be the country’s new ambassador to China, replacing businessman Domingo Lee.

He did not name Lee’s replacement, but said the new envoy “should have already learned what the position entails.”

“He’s got to hit the ground running,” according to Del Rosario,

During the same TV interview, he expressed concern over “very incomplete and even misleading” information about the Philippines-China negotiations on the conflict that were relayed to Beijing by Ma Keqing, China’s envoy to the Philippines.

According to Raul Hernandez, the spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Del Rosario was “referring to the agreement that both governments had decided to withdraw their ships. But there’s no such agreement yet because it’s still being discussed.”

“And also there’s no agreement yet about the fishing boats that were poaching and which have actually collected a big amount of endangered marine species,” said Hernandez.

Asked if the Philippines still trusted China, he said “I don’t know about mistrust, but maybe some elements were lacking in the negotiations with China…We need deeper trust from the other side.”

On Monday, Hernandez also reported that “the lone Chinese maritime surveillance ship is still (at the shoal) while three fishing boats are inside the (shoal’s) lagoon.”

The BRP Pampanga “is in the area, replacing the BRP Edsa which has returned to its home port to get new provisions.”

The Coast Guard vessel is closely monitoring the activities of the Chinese vessels, according to Hernandez.

Last week, the Chinese Embassy in Manila brushed aside the DFA’s call to bring the Scarborough Shoal issue to ITLOS, saying it preferred “friendly consultations” with the Philippines.

According to Hernandez, Beijing has yet to officially respond to Manila’s invitation.

But “we will be reiterating our invitation,” he said, stressing the Philippines was determined to look for a “durable solution” to the dispute.

“Our lines with China are open… We’re considering many options, but (the two sides) need to meet again,” he said.

Asked when the negotiations would resume, Hernandez said both sides have been “looking for the right timing.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: BRP Pampanga , China , Diplomacy , Foreign affairs , geopolitics , Global Nation , International relations , Philippine Coast Guard , Philippine government , Philippines , Scarborough Shoal , Spratly Islands , territorial disputes , Territories

  • fugeee

    Lahing Andres Bonifacio, Atapang A Tao.
    Aputol a kamay, hindi atakbo.
    Aputol a paa, hindi atakbo.
    Apugot a ulo, hindi atakbo.
    Aputol a uten, atakbo atulin.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace