The Philippine government has yet to initiate diplomatic action toward Beijing following the latest incident of harassment by Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessels against Filipino fishermen near Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) stated yesterday that they are still gathering additional evidence on the incident reported by Filipino fishermen who claimed they were chased away from the area by a CCG vessel on January 9.
Lito Al-os, the boat captain of FFB Ken-ken, reported the incident to the PCG on January 20.
In a letter he sent to the PCG, Al-os said CCGV 5204 drove them away while fishing in the vicinity waters off Ayungin Shoal, three days after venturing into WPS.
The 48-year-old resident of Barangay Bagong Silang said CCGV 5204 maneuvered towards their boat and upon reaching a distance of approximately 800 yards, it deployed a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) after which, CCG personnel onboard gestured for them to leave the area.
They then decided to move to another location but the CCGV 5204 continued to shadow them while en route to Boxall Reef.
Meanwhile, the PCG stated that its Task Force Pag-asa has deployed additional vessels to strengthen its presence in WPS and improve its security posture to ensure the safety and security of Filipino fishermen conducting fishing operations in the area.
Adm. Artemio Abu, commandant of the PCG, reassured worried Filipino fishermen that it is unwavering in its commitment to defend rules-based procedures in securing the country’s exclusive economic zones and protecting their welfare at all costs.