PANGASINAN FISHERMEN RECOUNT ORDEAL IN HANDS OF CHINESE COAST GUARD
INFANTA, Pangasinan—“Filipino, go!”
Those two words continue to ring loud in fisherman Romulo Ferrer’s ears, coming from a Chinese coast guard vessel that threateningly approached the fishing boat that Ferrer and seven other fishermen took to Scarborough Shoal, also known as Panatag Shoal, in the West Philippine Sea where Ferrer had been earning a livelihood catching fish nearly half his life.
Ferrer recounted the tense encounter in an interview with Inquirer.
He said for more than eight days, he and his fellow fishermen on board the boat Joenel 3, fished near Panatag Shoal without any incident although their boat was within striking distance of a Chinese coast guard vessel, one of such ships guarding the shoal.
“We knew that they (the Chinese) saw us,” said Ferrer. “But we assumed that, maybe, they would just allow us to fish,” added the 46-year-old Ferrer.
He said Joenel 3 left the village of Cato here on March 4. By dawn of March 5, Ferrer said, he and the other fishermen set up fishing gear on a spot near Panatag Shoal.
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