Stronger Coast Guard presence sought after Masinloc incident

Stronger Coast Guard presence sought after Masinloc incident

/ 04:55 PM October 04, 2023
Stronger Coast Guard presence sought after Masinloc incident MANILA, Philippines — The latest incident near Bajo de Masinloc — where three Filipino fishermen died after a vessel rammed their boat — only highlights the need for more Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) patrols in the country’s maritime territories, ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said on Wednesday.In a statement, Castro said that the recent deadly incident could have been prevented if only PCG had been there when a  Marshall Islands flagged- oil tanker rammed the local fishing boat F/B Dearyl, 289 kilometers away from Infanta, Pangasinan.

“Today, the PCG said the foreign commercial vessel was identified as the Pacific Anna, a crude oil tanker registered under the flag of the Marshall Islands.  Given that commercial vessels have the right of innocent passage, the incident could have been prevented if there were more PCG patrols in Bajo de Masinloc; aside from preventing such accidents, they can also be more effective in protecting our waters and our fisherfolk,” Castro said.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this act, and we are calling on Congress to probe this incident.  We also hope that the funds for the Philippine Coast Guard will be increased,” she added.

Castro said having the PCG conduct patrols would also bode well for the country’s maritime security, considering that Chinese vessels have been harassing Filipino fisherfolk in the area, even if it is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone that stretches 370 kilometers from its shores. 



Agri party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee meanwhile hoped that people involved in the incident would be held accountable — regardless if the ramming was accidental or not.


“We sympathize with the families and the loved ones of our fisherfolk who died after their boat was rammed by an oil tanker.  We are praying for justice for the dead at the soonest possible time,” Lee said in Filipino.

BH party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera also suggested that the area where the maritime tragedy be cordoned, and a navigation notice be issued to ensure that the PCG can conduct its investigation properly.

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TAGS: Coast Guard, fisherman

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