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PH plane flies over Panatag Shoal


The Philippine Coast Guard sent one of its planes to conduct an “aerial survey” over the vicinity of the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal on Thursday morning .

The PCG’s Islander reconnaissance craft “did not fly directly above the shoal,” PCG commandant Vice Adm. Edmund Tan told reporters. The Philippine government policy on the maritime standoff is not to provoke Chinese government vessels in the area, he added.

Both China and the Philippines claim the shoal. Tensions rose last month when Chinese government ships stopped Philippine authorities from inspecting an illegal fishing boat in the area.

Tan said the PCG craft “took photos and video of illegal fishing. We have a video of the trawling conducted by their rubber boats as indicated by the discoloration of the sea bed.” (The illegal fishermen) destroy the seabed then return later to pick up giant clams and corals,” Tan added.

Trawling is a method of fishing that involves pulling a net through the water behind one or more boats. The net is called a trawl and the boats that pull them are called trawlers.

‘Don’t be afraid’

“They (the Chinese fishermen) are after clams and corals; (Filipino fishermen) are only after aquarium fishes,” Tan added.

At present, Tan said there were three Chinese government vessels, seven Chinese fishing boats and 23 other “small utility fishing vessels” in the waters around Scarborough.

On the Philippine side, the PCG has its patrol vessel BRP Edsa, a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources craft manned by PCG personnel, and a Filipino fishing boat gathering fish for aquariums.

The PCG chief encouraged Filipino fishermen to go fishing in the waters of Scarborough, adding that the fishing ban in the area had been lifted two weeks ago.

“We ask the Filipino fisherman from Bataan, Zambales and other areas to fish in the area that is our own. Don’t be afraid. The PCG has a boat. We will maintain our presence. The [Filipino] fishermen would help show our presence in the area,” Tan said.

‘No-confrontation’ policy

An ordinary fishing boat from Zambales takes up to 16 hours to reach the shoal, he added.

Tan reiterated the PCG’s “no-confrontation” policy regarding the ongoing standoff.

“Our rules of engagement [dictates that] we would not provoke them. We would not react to any of their harassment or bullying. We would just stay there. If they try to harass us by trying to ram our ships, we would just take evasive action. If worse comes to worst, that is, if they would fire upon us, we would have to disengage, stay away, assess the situation and then go back,” he said.

Tan said the assessment by the PCG and other “concerned agencies” is that the Chinese side is not likely to engage in any shooting. “They would appear the loser on this stand if they do it” because China, in the eyes of the media and other people, will be perceived as “trying to control the world.”

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Tags: coast guard plane , News , ph-china dispute , Scarborough shoal

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3RWVFSTFUM3X7ZUW3FLUNT7XT4 thomas

    occupy the reef, deport chinese, nationalize assets and boycott chinese goods.  rp stand zero chance in military conflict

    • 0429OH

      Tama ka boycott Chinese goods. Import more quality products from Japan ,taiwan or Korea ! Send more fishing vessels or any kind of boats more than they have there !Tignan Kung may magagawa sila !

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3RWVFSTFUM3X7ZUW3FLUNT7XT4 thomas

    china took tibet. shoal is the same.

  • 18C0501

    storya na naman, sabi dadalhin daw usapan sa itlos o unclos. wala parin ayaw daw ng china. pilipinas talaga. 

  • justyouraveragechinoy

    Occupy Panatag NOW!   

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FF5QGHISCKJH4TFM4US7JVWQAM Paul_Fivens

    Fly a kite over these island and warn them we will put bladed strings if they don’t go away.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FWD5IDZT7SXOEHKLE3O7CGFOAE Bright

    Maintain the stand off. Panatag Shoal is ours. These Chinese are harassing our seas. This clearly, is not a responsible rise to power by China. 

  • http://twitter.com/judefawley Jude Fawley

     “Our rules of engagement [dictates that] we would not provoke them. We
    would not react to any of their harassment or bullying. We would just
    stay there. If they try to harass us by trying to ram our ships, we
    would just take evasive action. If worse comes to worst, that is, if
    they would fire upon us, we would have to disengage, stay away, assess
    the situation and then go back,” he

    This is not a reassuring statement to the Filipino Fishermen. If i am a fisherman and i know that there is a possibility that i may get shot by the Chinese for fishing in that area, i will never go there and catch fish.

    • junza

      stupid rule… if they shoot at us we should fight back!

  • Guest

    why not send an ANC news crew over the shoal and take video of all the illegal activities( Chinese poaching) and put it on PRIME TIME NEWS.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWP3O5MIWBLNYMNQ75Q2NSO3AI mack

    invite US bases now before its too late. If china shall erect a floating garrison there, the more problems we shall have…China is good in strategical 
    tricks…..one day we might wake up our border shall be a china’s naval bases…

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