Headlines Skinning Left, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Headlines ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Philippines asks China: Stop threatening Filipino fishermen

Chinese structures and buildings on the man-made Subi Reef at the Spratlys chain of islands are seen from the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island off the disputed South China Sea in western Philippines Friday, April 21, 2017. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano and other officials flew to the Thitu Island Friday to assert the country's claim to the heartland of a disputed area where China is believed to have added missiles on man-made islands. The South China Sea issue is expected to be discussed in the 20th ASEAN Summit of Leaders next week. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has urged China to refrain from the threat or use of force following reports of harassment of Filipino fishermen.

Beijing has denied that the Chinese navy drove away Filipino fishermen near the Union Banks in the Spratly Islands.

"We have raised the matter with the Chinese side several times and they informed us that their investigations did not reveal any such incidents," Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said in a statement.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has submitted its investigation report to the DFA and said that the Chinese government also vowed to look into the incident.

READ: Philippines verifying China harassment of Pinoy fishermen

The military remains hopeful that China will conduct an impartial probe into such reports.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

"We have asked them to continue the investigations and to share the results with Philippine authorities," Bolivar said. He said the Philippines will also continue "to urge the Chinese side to refrain from the threat or use of force."

'A misunderstanding'

President Rodrigo Duterte, however, has confirmed reports that a Chinese navy ship blocked Philippine-flagged vessel Johann near the Union Banks on April 9.

Filipino fishermen have also accused Chinese forces of firing at them.

The president did not express concern over the incident in the South China Sea and said that it was only a "misunderstanding."

"There is a misunderstanding there. We have talked about it. And sabi ko, I hope it will not happen again," Duterte told reporters last week.

Union Banks is located within the country's 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone. The reported harassment of Filipino fishermen by Chinese forces took place near Gaven Reef, one of China's artificial islands in the Spratlys.

READ: Duterte goes soft on Chinese 'harassment' of Filipino fishermen

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us:
Healines Skinning Right, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1