MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has summoned the charge d’affaires of China to protest the firing of water cannons at Filipino fishermen in a disputed shoal last January 27.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Spokesman Raul Hernandez said the incident involving a China Coast Guard vessel is only one of several incidents of harassments against Filipino fishermen at the disputed shoal.
“The department has also received information that about nine similar reports of harassment incidents of Filipino fishermen were committed by Chinese civilian maritime law enforcement agency vessels last year where even during inclement weather conditions, Philippine fishing vessels were driven away from the area,” he said.
He said that the harassment incidents included Chinese vessels going near Filipino boats to create big waves. The bigger vessels also blew their horns to drive away the fishermen, he said.
The January 27 incident is the latest, and it has been verified by Philippine government officials, Hernandez said.
He said two of 14 Filipino fishing boats were 30 to 40 yards away from the shoal when the China Coast Guard vessel with Bow Number 3063 “continuously blew its horn and thereafter doused the fishing vessels with water cannons for several minutes.”