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Filipinos saw China blocking fishermen from shoal—marine officer

/ 04:40 PM April 22, 2014

A Philippine Marine gestures at a Chinese Coast Guard vessel which tries to block a Philippine Government vessel AM700 from approaching the Second Thomas Shoal (local name Ayungin Shoal) to resupply and replace fellow marines who were deployed for almost five months Saturday, March 29, 2014 off South China Sea on the West Philippine Sea. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — A marine officer says he and his men watched from a ship outpost as Chinese coast guard vessels repeatedly blocked or chased Filipino and Vietnamese fishermen from a disputed South China Sea shoal.

Marine 1st Lt. Mike Pelotera said Tuesday that they saw how Chinese coast guard ships “bullied” fishermen away from the Second Thomas Shoal at least eight times from December to March, when his marine unit was replaced. He shot a video of a Chinese coast guard ship chasing a Vietnamese fishing boat away from the shoal in January.

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About 80 activists protested at the Chinese consulate in Manila on Tuesday, demanding that China stop intruding into Philippine territory in the South China Sea.

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TAGS: Ayungin Shoal, China, South China Sea, territorial dispute, West Philippine Sea
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