25 February 2014

The Department of Foreign Affairs summoned this morning the Chargé d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Manila to strongly protest the efforts of China to prohibit Filipino fishermen from undertaking fishing activities in the Philippines’ Bajo de Masinloc. Bajo de Masinloc is an integral part of the Philippines and over which the Philippines exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction. Philippine fishing vessels have been routinely, continuously, and peacefully and sustainably fishing in Bajo de Masinloc.

The Department likewise strongly protests the acts of harassment and the manner by which these were committed by China to forcefully drive away Philippine fishing vessels from Bajo de Masinloc. Finally, the Department vehemently protests the acts of China when its law enforcement vessels drove away Philippine fishing vessels seeking shelter in the Philippines’ Bajo de Masinloc during inclement weather.

The Department received information that two Filipino fishing boats encountered harassment by a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel with Bow Number 3063 on 27 January 2014 in Bajo de Masinloc. The CCG vessel continuously blew its horn and thereafter doused the fishing vessels with water cannons for several minutes. The Department also received information that about nine (9) similar reports of harassment incidents of Filipino fishermen were committed by Chinese civilian maritime law enforcement agency (CMLEA) vessels last year, where even during inclement weather conditions Philippine fishing vessels were driven away from the area. END