The owner of the Chinese-registered yacht that was held by Coast Guard authorities in Honda Bay in Barangay Concepcion on Tuesday claimed to have a property in the area and arrived there from mainland China to resupply and refuel.
Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDPal) commander Commodore Allan Corpuz told Palawan News that the yacht’s owner, a certain Deng Kang Zhang, had a special residence visa and a passport with him but the other nine Chinese nationals on the vessel had no documentation.
The yacht and its foreign passengers reportedly came from the city of Tianjin in northern China. They were held by the Coast Guard at its headquarters in Honda Bay, Brgy. Sta. Lourdes pending further investigation.
The initial report identified the Chinese nationals as Luo Xiao Giang, 34; Xu Yuan Sen, 21; Chen Zhen Gi, 65; Zhou Wei, 35; Chang Liu Ging,27; Zhao Jian Hui, 37; Lien Nua Wei, 27; Zhao Zhou Yin, 37; Luo Shui Sheng, 35; and Deng Kang Zhang, 44 years old.
Corpuz said that the yacht owner Zhang claims he has a property in the area, and reportedly told authorities they came to survey this before heading back to China.
“Yung owner ng yate allegedly mayroon silang pag-aari doon, pagmamay ari ng Palawan Commercial Property Incorporated,” Corpuz said.
“Ang intention nila is kumuha ng pagkain at fuel kasi galing silang China, six days na sila. Nakapagpresent naman sila ng visa driver’s license at saka ‘yong sabi ko nga ‘yong inissue ng Pilipinas na special residence retirees’ visa para ma-prove yong kanilang identification,” he added.
Corpuz said that these Chinese nationals were in violation of immigration and other Philippine laws, and did not coordinate with their own embassy regarding their voyage.
“Dapat bago sila pumasok dito bilang foreigner dapat dumaan po sila sa tamang proseso – nakipag-ugayan sa ating embahada sa China na sila ay papasok dito sa Pilipinas. Ngayon naman pwede naman kung sila ay kukuha ng pagkain o fuel pero dapat bago sila dumaong sa pier nakipag ugnayan muna sila sa awtoridad katulad ng Coast Guard at definitely ‘yong City government,” he said.
“Immigration law dahil nilabag nila ‘yan and at the same time, ‘yong health protocol kasi alam naman natin na may pinapatupad tayong health protocols sa ngayon,” Corpuz added.
He said that they will hold the Chinese in their facility at Honda Bay and will conduct investigations through the provincial committee on illegal entrants.
(with reports from Ruth Rodriguez)