It's up to DFA if diplomatic action needed in Scarborough harassment

PCG: DFA to decide diplomatic action in Scarborough harassment

/ 09:27 AM January 22, 2024

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China Coast Guard Vessel No. 3305 fires a water cannon at BRP Datu Bankaw, a patrol vessel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, near Scarborough Shoal (Bajo de Masinloc), in this screengrab from a Dec. 9, 2023, video by the Philippine Coast Guard. (FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — It’s up to the Department of Foreign Affairs to decide if the latest incident in the Scarborough Shoal involving the China Coast Guard (CCG) would merit diplomatic action, a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) official said on Monday.

Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said the agency will document the incident and ask the Filipino fishermen to submit their affidavits or sworn statements.


From there, the PCG will then submit the investigation report to the National Task Force-West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) and other concerned government agencies, according to Tarriela.


“Of course, the Department of Foreign Affairs, as part of the NTF-WPS, sila ang merong diplomatic action kung sakali man na (they will do a diplomatic action in case) it would merit a diplomatic action,” Tarriela said over radio DWPM.

Fisher Jack Tabat, whose boat returned to the mainland on Saturday, already provided his sworn statement dated Jan. 20.

Other fisherfolk involved in the incident have yet to provide sworn statements, according to Tarriela.

READ: Harassment of PH fishers continues – PCG

Tabat said their group was forced by CCG personnel to throw the shells back to the sea they gathered off the low-tide elevation before being driven away.

He also took the video of the incident, which made rounds on social media over the weekend.

Scarborough Shoal is a traditional fishing ground that should be shared with neighboring countries such as China and Vietnam, according to a 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling.


However, Beijing, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejected the international tribunal’s ruling.

READ: 2023: A lookback at rising tension in West PH Sea

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TAGS: Scarborough Shoal, West Philippine Sea

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