PCG to fishers: Don't be discouraged by China's harassment

PCG to Filipino fishers: Don’t be discouraged by China’s harassment

/ 03:53 PM January 22, 2024

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) encourages Filipino fishermen to fish within the Scarborough Shoal area.

The Chinese Coast Guard tried to drive away Filipino fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea early this month, the Philippine Coast Guard reported on Sunday, with videos of the supposed harassment making the rounds on social media during the weekend.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) encourages Filipino fishermen to fish within the Scarborough Shoal area.

Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, made the pronouncement on Monday even after the incident involving Filipino fishermen and China Coast Guard (CCG) personnel in the area.


“We still encourage our Filipino fishermen to go there and fish,” Tarriela said in a press conference in Manila.


Tarriela also said the government will try its best to maintain its presence around the maritime area to prevent a similar scenario that occurred last Jan 12.

READ: Harassment of PH fishers continues – PCG

Fisher Jack Tabat was on board the fishing boat Legendary Jo with other fishermen when they saw another Filipino fishing boat being harassed by CCG personnel on board their rubber boat, according to his sworn statement dated Jan. 20.

Tabat said the other fishing boat was gathering seashells in the vicinity of the south entrance of the shoal while it was low tide, but the CCG tried to drive them away and even asked the fishermen to return the seashells.

Tarriela admits that there were no PCG and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) personnel were in the area when the incident occurred.


“I’d be honest, it occurred on January 12 wherein there were no PCG and BFAR vessels that were present during that time,” Tarriela said.

“But we are now coordinating with the BFAR to make sure that lull times like this, when there was a vacuum of government forces, will no longer happen again,” he added, partly in Filipino.

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.

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

Beijing, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejected the international tribunal’s ruling, as its vessels harass Filipino fishermen trying to fish there.

TAGS: Chinese coast guard, coast guard, fishermen, Scarborough Shoal

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