Now, it’s Chinese boat stuck in Tubbataha

Coast Guard holds crew for questioning


The no-sail sign is clear on the maps, but there seems to be a beeline of vessels just waiting to get into Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

On Monday night, a Chinese fishing vessel with a crew of 12 ran aground in the popular marine sanctuary, where a US minesweeper got stuck in January and was recently extracted only nine days ago following an elaborate salvaging operation.

The steel-hulled vessel based in Fujian, China, was identified by the Tubbataha Management Office as a fishing boat with the marking 63168. It was unclear why the boat strayed into the 97,000-hectare diving destination designated a World Heritage site by Unesco, the United Nations’ cultural arm, for its rich biodiversity.

“It’s clear in the charts that the Tubbataha sanctuary is off-limits to navigation but there seems to be a line of ships just waiting to violate that regulation,” said park superintendent Angelique Songco.

The Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Romblon was dispatched to the area in the Sulu Sea flank of mainland Palawan and detained the Chinese for questioning in Puerto Princesa City.

“Once the boat is freed from its current position and is able to move using its own propulsion, the BRP Romblon will escort it to Puerto Princesa,” said Rear Adm. Rodolfo Isorena, the Coast Guard commandant.

Initial reports indicated that the Chinese had no permit to enter the marine sanctuary and were expected to be charged with poaching and illegal entry.

No estimated damage has been released by authorities. A plan to scramble or send a naval aircraft to conduct an aerial survey was aborted due to the harsh weather in the area.

Several violations

Cmdr. Joseph Rostum Peña of Naval Forces West told the Inquirer that the Chinese vessel ran aground at 11:45 p.m. on Monday at the north atoll of Tubbataha where the park’s Ranger Station is located.

He said that while an  investigation was still being conducted, there were clear indications the fishing vessel had committed several violations.

“That is a marine sanctuary. Entry of fishing vessels there is not allowed and clearly they had no permit,” Peña said.

“We want to determine if they can be charged with poaching and to know what they were doing there. Why is a Chinese fishing boat in the Sulu Sea?” Peña said.

Peña said they would coordinate with park authorities to conduct an assessment of the damage to the coral reef.

“There is no damage report yet but we hope we can assess that immediately,” he said.

As of 4 p.m., the 48-by-8 meter vessel ship was still stuck on a reef, as the Coast Guard vessel deployed to extricate it was too light, said Songco.

She said rangers detected the presence of the grounded vessel at about 11:40 p.m. on Monday.

“They saw something on the radar, and when they went to verify it, it turned out to be positive. The ship was only one nautical mile from the station but they had difficulty communicating with the fishermen,” who were speaking in Mandarin, she told a radio interview.

“They couldn’t communicate with us, so we have no understanding of what they needed, and why they were there,” Songco said.

Wake-up call

Malacañang’s deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Palace had been informed of the Chinese intrusion and was told an investigation was underway. She had no other details.

“It’s obvious what the Chinese are doing there, they’re fishing in restricted waters,” said former Sen. Jamby Madrigal, a senatorial candidate in next month’s elections. “It’s a wake-up call for authorities to save Tubbataha from further intrusions.”

Independent senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño urged the Aquino administration to bring charges against China in the international court.

“This is more likely another attempt at poaching, as was the case in Scarborough Shoal where sharks, giant clams, corals and other rare species were plundered by Chinese fishermen,” said the outgoing party-list representative.

Said reelectionist Sen. Loren Legarda in a statement, “The grounding of the USS Guardian of the US Navy and now [the presence of a] Chinese fishing vessel on Tubbataha Reef which is within Philippine territorial waters require a serious review of how our Navy and Coast Guard patrol our maritime boundaries.”

USS Guardian

The USS Guardian ran aground in another Tubbataha atoll on Jan. 17 and was removed on March 30 after being dismantled and lifted piece by piece by a crane to prevent more damage to the coral reefs.

The US Pacific Fleet said last week it had relieved the commanding officer, the executive officer and navigator, the assistant navigator and the officer of the deck of the Guardian after initial findings indicated all had failed to adhere to standard navigation procedures at the time of the minesweeper’s grounding.

Washington has been asked to pay $1.5 million for the 2,345 square meters of coral reef damaged by the minesweeper in Tubbataha, Songco said, adding the US Embassy was notified of the fine on Monday.

US Embassy officials have expressed regret and promised to compensate for the damage.

8 other ships

At least eight other vessels have run aground in Tubbataha in past years, including a Greenpeace ship which accidentally got stuck in the corals in 2005 while studying the impact of global warming on coral reefs. Greenpeace officials expressed regrets and paid a fine, Songco said.

Under Section 87 of the Fisheries Code, foreigners caught poaching in Philippine waters faced a fine of $100,000, in addition to the confiscation of their catch, fishing equipment and vessel. An administrative fine of between $50,000 and  $200,000 may also be imposed, according to the law.

Songco said the radar used by park rangers to detect intrusions into the protected area was open only every three hours.

“It can’t be used the whole day as it consumes a lot of energy. Between those three hours, we can’t always monitor intrusions,” she said.

“With Chinese vessels, even in the past, they don’t answer on the radio. If we try to communicate with them, they don’t answer. Sometimes, they even block the radio,” she said.

“There was no marine life, except dried fish. There are nets, but no catch. But according to Tubbataha law, if a foreign vessel  enters, it’s considered prima facie evidence, so poaching is the case to be filed against them, even without a  catch,” Songco said.—With reports from Marlon Ramos, Norman Bordadora, Michael Lim Ubac, Jerry E. Esplanada and AP

Originally posted: 10:18 am | Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

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  • Pedro Guevara


  • Pedro Guevara

    If the Roman Catholic priests ordered execution of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal by firing squad at luneta in Manila, then we have to execute these 12 Chinese poachers by firing them and embed them in Tubbataha Reef in order to make this as an example or warning to all poachers in Philippine waters. Chinese fishermen poachers had been desecrating our sovereignty because they believed they can bribe many Philippine authorities. The Chinese fishermen had been poaching our Philippine waters since time immemorial because they know our Philippine government has many corrupt and stupid politicians like our current traitor president (makapili) who sides with foreigners or favor foreign nationals like Malaysian muslim government over Filipino muslims in Mindanao .and who has no courage to fight for our territorial rights over Sabah, Philippine Spratly islands and Scarborough shoal in West Philippine seas, and who always said that we can not buy or manufacture Philippine warships, coast guard patrol gun ships, and jet fighter planes so we can not protect our territorial waters.

  • Pedro Guevara

    Si los sacerdotes católicos ordenaron la ejecución de nuestro héroe nacional Dr. José Rizal por un pelotón de fusilamiento en la luneta en Manila, entonces tenemos que ejecutar estos 12 cazadores furtivos chinos por un pelotón de ellos e integrarlos en Tubbataha Reef para hacer esto como un ejemplo o advirtiendo a todos los cazadores furtivos en aguas filipinas. Cazadores furtivos pescadores chinos habían profanando nuestra soberanía porque creían que pueden sobornar a muchas autoridades filipinas. Los pescadores chinos fueron la caza furtiva nuestras aguas filipinas desde tiempos inmemoriales, porque saben que nuestro gobierno filipino tiene muchos políticos corruptos y estúpidos como nuestro presidente traidor actual (makapili) quien lados con extranjeros o ciudadanos extranjeros a favor como Malasia gobierno musulmán sobre los filipinos musulmanes en Mindanao. y que no tiene coraje para luchar por nuestros derechos territoriales sobre Sabah, Filipinas, las islas Spratly y Scarborough Shoal en los mares de Filipinas Occidental, y que siempre dijimos que no podemos comprar o fabricar buques de guerra de Filipinas, guardacostas barcos de patrulla, armas y aviones de combate jet para no podemos proteger nuestras aguas territoriales.

  • Pedro Guevara

    रोमन कैथोलिक पादरियों मनीला में luneta पर फायरिंग दस्ते द्वारा हमारे राष्ट्रीय नायक डॉ. जोस Rizal के निष्पादन का आदेश दिया है, तो हम एक उदाहरण के रूप में यह कर सकते हैं या करने के क्रम में उन्हें फायरिंग से इन 12 चीनी शिकारियों निष्पादित और Tubbataha रीफ में उन्हें एम्बेड करने के लिए है फिलीपीन पानी में सभी शिकारियों को चेतावनी. वे कई फिलीपीन के अधिकारियों को रिश्वत देने के कर सकते हैं क्योंकि उनका मानना ​​चीनी मछुआरों शिकारियों हमारी संप्रभुता अपवित्र कर दिया गया था. वे हमारे फिलीपीन सरकार हमारे वर्तमान गद्दार राष्ट्रपति जैसे कई भ्रष्ट और मूर्ख नेताओं पता है क्योंकि चीनी मछुआरों अति प्राचीन काल से हमारे फिलीपीन पानी के अवैध शिकार किया गया था (makapili) जो Mindanao में फिलिपिनो मुसलमानों से अधिक मलेशियाई मुस्लिम सरकार की तरह विदेशियों या पक्ष विदेशी नागरिकों के साथ पक्षों. और जो पश्चिम फिलीपीन समुद्र में सबा, फिलीपीन स्प्रैटली द्वीप और स्कारबोरो रेती भर में अपने क्षेत्रीय अधिकारों के लिए लड़ने का साहस नहीं है, और हमेशा इसलिए हम फिलीपीन युद्धपोतों, तट रक्षक गश्ती बंदूक जहाजों और लड़ाकू जेट विमानों की खरीद या निर्माण नहीं कर सकते हैं कि जो कहा हम अपने जल क्षेत्र की रक्षा नहीं कर सकते हैं.

  • Pedro Guevara

    Jika imam Roman Katolik mengarahkan pelaksanaan wira negara Dr Jose Rizal oleh skuad penembak di Luneta di Manila, maka kita perlu melaksanakan ini 12 pemburu haram Cina dengan menembak mereka dan membenamkan mereka dalam Tubbataha Reef untuk membuat ini sebagai contoh atau amaran kepada semua pemburu haram di perairan Filipina. Nelayan Cina pemburu haram telah memijak kedaulatan negara kerana mereka percaya mereka boleh rasuah banyak pihak berkuasa Filipina. Nelayan Cina yang telah memburu perairan Filipina kami sejak dahulu lagi kerana mereka tahu kerajaan Filipina kita mempunyai ramai ahli politik korup dan bodoh seperti presiden pengkhianat semasa kami (makapili) yang pihak dengan warga asing atau warga asing yang memihak kepada Islam seperti kerajaan Malaysia sejak Filipina umat Islam di Mindanao. dan yang tidak mempunyai keberanian untuk berjuang untuk hak-hak wilayah kita di Sabah, Filipina Spratly pulau-pulau dan Scarborough beting di Barat laut Filipina, dan yang selalu berkata bahawa kita tidak boleh membeli atau mengeluarkan kapal perang Filipina, pengawal pantai kapal pistol peronda, dan pesawat jet pejuang supaya kita tidak boleh melindungi perairan wilayah kita.

  • Pedro Guevara

    Если католических священников заказать выполнение наш национальный герой доктор Хосе Ризал через расстрел на Luneta в Маниле, то мы должны выполнить эти 12 китайских браконьеров, стреляя их и вставлять их в рифовых Tubbataha того, чтобы сделать это в качестве примера или предупреждением для всех браконьеров в филиппинских водах. Китайские браконьеры рыбаков было осквернение нашего суверенитета, потому что они считали, что они могут подкупить многих филиппинских властей.Китайские рыбаки занимаются браконьерством наших филиппинских водах с незапамятных времен, потому что они знают нашу правительство Филиппин многие коррумпированные и глупых политиков, как наш нынешний президент предатель (makapili), который стороны с иностранцами или пользу иностранных граждан, как мусульманское правительство Малайзии более филиппинских мусульман в Минданао. и кто не имеет мужества, чтобы бороться за свои территориальные права на Сабах, филиппинских островов Спратли и Скарборо мелководье в Западной Филиппинское море, и кто всегда говорил, что мы не можем купить или производства филиппинская военные корабли, береговая охрана патрульных кораблей пушки и самолеты истребитель так мы не можем защитить наших территориальных водах.

  • Pedro Guevara

    로마 가톨릭 사제 마닐라 루 네타에서 총살하여 우리의 국가 영웅 닥터 호세 리잘의 실행을 주문한 경우, 우리는 예를 들어이 만들거나 순서로 발사하여 이러한 12의 중국 밀렵꾼을 실행하고 투 바타 하 리프에서 그들을 포함해야 필리핀 바다에서 모든 밀렵꾼에게 경고합니다. 그들은 많은 필리핀 당국에 뇌물을 할 수 믿었 기 때문에 중국어 어부 밀렵꾼은 우리의 주권을 모독하고 있었다. 그들은 우리 필리핀 정부가 현재의 반역자 회장 같은 많은 부패하고 어리석은 정치가가 알고 있기 때문에 중국 어민 태고 적부터 우리의 필리핀 해역을 침범했다 (makapili) 사람 민다나오 필리핀 무슬림을 통해 말레이시아의 이슬람 정부와 같은 외국인 또는 호의 외국 국적을 가진면. 누구를 서 필리핀 바다에서 사바, 필리핀 스프 래 틀리 군도와 스카 떼에 우리의 영토의 권리를 위해 싸울 용기가 없다, 항상 우리가 필리핀 군함, 해안 경비대 순찰 총 배송 및 제트 전투기를 구입하거나 제조 할 수 있다고 한 우리는 우리의 영해를 보호 할 수 없습니다.

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