Chinese drive away Pinoy fishers from shoal


Chinese ships used water cannons to drive Filipino fishermen from the Panatag Shoal, a disputed territory, the military reported on Monday, even as the commander of the US Navy Pacific Fleet arrived in Manila to discuss with government officials, among others, the country’s territorial dispute with China as well as the “implications” of the US’ military rebalance to Asia policy.

Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista said the Panatag incident which happened last Jan. 27 is now being investigated by the military.

More bullying. Military chief Gen. Emmanuel
Bautista tells foreign news correspondents how
Chinese vessels fired water cannons at Filipino
fishermen last January as US Ambassador Philip
Goldberg listens during a news forum in Makati
City on Monday. AFP PHOTO

Bautista said that Chinese coast guard and fishing vessels remain in the Panatag areas as well as in Ayungin Reef in Kalayaan Group of Islands in Palawan, which the Philippine Navy is purposely steering clear of to minimize the risk of a clash.

But Bautista said government troops will come to the aid of fishermen if “military force” is used against them.

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