MARIVELES, Bataan: Mayor Jesse Concepcion of this town on Monday appealed to President Benigno Aquino 3rd to do something to protect Filipino fishermen from harassment in the Scarborough Shoal by the Chinese Coast Guard.
“Sana aksiyunan ito agad ng mahal na Pangulo. Kung maaari idispatch ang Philippine Coast Guard para protektahan ang ating mga kababayan sa Scarborough Shoal. Ibang bansa ang naghahari, eh sa atin ito [I wish for immediate action from the President. If possible, dispatch Philippine Coast Guard units to protect our fishermen in the area. A foreign country is literally ruling this part of the sea],” he added.
Concepcion said that local government units cannot do anything on the matter, and it is the national government that should act on it.
The mayor made the appeal upon learning that three fishing boats from Sisiman, Mariveles were among those bombarded by a water cannon by the Chinese Coast Guard on April 10, 2015 while fishing at Scarborough Shoal.
One of the fishing boats, FB/Queen Kim Eurich, returned on Sunday, April 19, to Sisiman after arriving in Subic, Zambales from Scarborough on April 16.
Boat Captain Diogenes Corceles he and his crew of 13 arrived at Scarborough Shoal in the afternoon of April 9.
“Nagsisimula kaming mangisda kinabukasan nang bandang alas-2 ng hapon dumating ang isang puting barko ng Chinese Coast Guard na number 3402. Ito’y may parang trompa na may recorded na statement na ‘Get out of Chinese territory, no fishing’ na paulit-ulit na sinasabi [We started fishing the next day at about two in the afternoon when a white ship of the Chinese Coast Guard number 3402 arrived at the area. It started airing a recorded message repeatedly saying ‘Get out of Chinese territory’],” he said.
Corceles said the Chinese then bombarded them with a water cannon that caused their LPG tank to fall down from their fishing boat. One of the fishing crewmen also fell from the boat because of the water cannon spray.
The boat skipper said some Chinese Coast Guard personnel armed with long firearms alighted from the ship on board rubber and steel boats and kept watch.
He said that there were 10 fishing boats from Pangasinan, Zambales and Bataan with more than 10 fishing crews each at the shoal. He said that only seven fishing boats, three from Mariveles, were bombarded with the water cannon.
Asked if he would still come back to Scarborough, Corceles said “yes” because fishing there is their only means of livelihood for the past 17 years.