AFP alarmed over Chinese ramming of PH boats in Panatag Shoal
5:42 pm | Thursday, February 5th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines has expressed alarm over the latest Chinese actions in Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) over South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

A Chinese coast guard ship allegedly rammed three fishing boats carrying 29 Filipino fishermen in Panatag Shoal on West Philippine Sea, which China is claiming as part of its territory, on Jan. 29.

“The AFP is alarmed over this recent development. We understand that mariners have a code that allows the refuge of vessels in safe waters during inclement weather,” AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla told reporters on Thursday.

The fishermen were believed to be seeking refuge in the shallow part of the shoal while there were strong winds and big waves.

“We will work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs as we pursue the government’s approaches to the issue,” Padilla said.

A report from the Inquirer said the fishermen were not hurt but most of them were traumatized by the incident.

The shoal is located 230 kilometers (124 nautical miles) from Masinloc town in Zambales, and is well within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

On Wednesday, the Philippines protested the incident to Beijing.

It also protested a separate incident on Jan. 22, when Chinese fishermen on at least 24 boats were seen collecting giant clams in same shoal, according to a report by the Philippine Coast Guard.

RELATED STORIES

Chinese ships ram PH fishing boats 

Philippines protests Chinese ramming of 3 fishing boats


Tags: Armed Forces of the Philippines , Chinese Coast Guard , Philippine Coast Guard , Restituto Padilla , Scarborough shoal , South China sea , West Philippine Sea

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