Government: Chinese vessels back in Scarborough shoal
MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Tuesday that Chinese ships and fishing vessels are back inside the lagoon of the disputed Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal.
“It has been confirmed by the Philippine Navy that, as of two days ago, there were no more ships inside the lagoon. The Chinese fishing boats have obviously returned,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement sent through the agency.
The Philippine Navy said a total of 28 Chinese fishing vessels were spotted outside and inside the lagoon of the shoal.
These vessels consist of three Chinese maritime surveillance ships, two Fisheries Law Enforcement Command ships, six fishing boats and 17 dinghies.
The sighting of fishing vessels in the shoal is seemingly in violation of the indefinite fishing ban imposed in the disputed area by both the Philippines and China. The fishing ban was imposed to allegedly “replenish maritime resources.”
On Monday, the Foreign Affairs department said that all ships from the Philippines and China had left the lagoon.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez also said that the ships outside the lagoon are “still subject to consultations.”
China and the Philippines are locked in a tensed standoff in the shoal since early April when Chinese maritime ships prevented Philippine officials from seizing eight Chinese fishing vessels that are caught illegally poaching in the area. (Sunnex)
Short URL: http://leytesamardaily.net/?p=29642