Latest Stories

DFA tells China off on jailed Chinese poachers

By ,

In this April 13, 2013, photo released by the Philippine Coast Guard in Manila, members of the Philippine Coast Guard hold a frozen pangolin, or scaly anteater, on board a Chinese vessel that ran aground off Tubbataha coral reef. AP PHOTO/PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

MANILA, Philippines—Let the Philippine justice system take its course in the litigation of the Chinese fishermen whose boat got stuck on Tubbataha Reef last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has told Chinese Embassy officials in Manila.

DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said embassy officials led by Deputy Chief of Mission Bai Tian met with Foreign Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Jaime Victor Ledda on Monday to discuss the grounding of the Ming Long Yu and the arrest of its 12-man crew.

Ledda is co-chairman of the National Committee on Illegal Entrants, Hernandez said.

“They came to the department to discuss the matter. We told them about the process and that the case was now in the courts and we have to observe due process,” said Hernandez in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The Chinese fishermen are detained at the Puerto Princesa City jail. They face charges of poaching and violation of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park regulations.

The Ming Long Yu ran aground on a portion of the reef around 11:40 p.m. on April 8, just 1.1 nautical miles east of the park’s ranger station.

The incident occurred one week after the United States completed the piecemeal removal of the USS Guardian, a US Navy minesweeper that ran aground at Tubbataha on Jan. 17.

Wildlife officials, meanwhile, are trying to determine if the hundreds of pangolin, or scaly anteater, carcasses found on the Chinese vessel were a local species.

Theresa Mundita Lim, director of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), said she was alarmed by the report that some 400 boxes each containing five to six dead pangolin were discovered aboard the Ming Long Yu.

“That’s a big number. Even if the pangolin are not Philippine species, it doesn’t matter because pangolins are considered threatened species, and the fishermen are still liable for violations under the CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora),” she said.

Lim said she would lead a PAWB team to Palawan on Friday to check if the carcasses of “dressed or rolled-up” pangolins were Philippine pangolin or Manis culionensis, a species endemic to Palawan.

“We will try to identify them based on their exterior, that is, if it’s still possible in their condition,” she said.

Pangolins are scaly mammals that look like “slothlike olive lizards” and range throughout Asia and Africa, according to World Wildlife Fund-Philippines.

“Eight species exist—all threatened by habitat loss plus the illegal trade for their meat and unique scales, which are used for both traditional medicine and the curio trade,” WWF-Philippines said in a statement.

“It’s bad enough the Chinese illegally entered our seas, navigated without papers and crashed recklessly into a national marine park and World Heritage Site,” said WWF-Philippines vice chairman and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan, “it is simply deplorable that they appeared to be posing as fishermen to trade in illegal wildlife.”

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: China , Diplomacy , environmental issues , international (foreign) relations , pangolins , Philippines , Tubbataha Reef

  • bayankopdi

    Ilang Pilipino ang nahuli sa China sa pagdala ng mga droga, mali po ang ginawa ng mga Pinoy mules at duaan sila sa proseso at yung iba nahatulan ng death penalty at namatay. Ngayon mga Chinese din ang nahuli at dapat sundin nila ang proceso kung anong hatol huwag ng hadlangan. Marami pang mga Chinese ang nahuli nuon pa man at laging napawalang sala dahil sa Chinese pressure pero dapat ngayon di na masyado silang sinuswerte…

  • lito moral

    PUT THEM ALL on FIRING SQUAD..or drowned them all Likes nothing Happened..

  • Marx Louis Wang


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


  • Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • Marketplace