Caught on video: China Coast Guard taking PH fishermen’s catch in Scarborough
The Chinese Coast Guard have been reportedly taking the catch of Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) in Zambales.
A mobile phone video, aired on GMA-7’s Reporter’s Notebook, showed China’s coast guard boarding the boats of Filipino fishermen to get their best catch.
In the same documentary, members of the China Coast Guard (CCG) also approached the fishermen to ask for fish but the fishermen said they have not caught any.
“Basta maghalungkat sila. Kukunin nila yung gusto nila. Ilagay nila sa plastic. Magaganda pa ang kunin nila,” said fisherman Ernie Egana.
Maritime expert Jay Batongbacal said the video only showed China’s control and occupation of the fishing ground.
Lyle Morris, security analyst at US-based RAND Corporation, described the incident as “hooliganism at sea.”
“CCG officers not even in uniform, but wearing green t-shirts. This is not only unprofessional, it’s hooliganism at sea,” Morris said on Twitter.
Scarborough Shoal is a rich fishing ground – 142 nautical miles off Zambales province – that China seized after a two-month standoff with the Philippine Navy in 2012.
Filipino fishermen were able to return to Scarborough Shoal in 2017. The Duterte administration claimed its warmer ties with China have allowed the return of Filipino fishermen there.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in 2012 that the Scarborough is a common fishing ground for Filipinos, Chinese, and other fishermen even if it is located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. /kga
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