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Fishermen vow to go back to Panatag

The Philippine Star

INFANTA, Pangasinan, Philippines – Despite being driven away by a Chinese coast guard vessel from the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, Filipino fishermen vowed to continue fishing in the area seized by the Chinese.

“We will go back there to fish because that is ours,” said Romulo Ferrer, a crew of a fishing boat FB/Joenel 3 in Barangay Cato here.

He claimed to have witnessed the latest bullying by Chinese coast guard near Panatag Shoal.

Ferrer told journalists that when he and seven others sailed on March 4 near the shoal, crewmembers of another fishing boat told them not to proceed any further as the Chinese were water spraying the fishermen.

They would also come near the Filipino fishing boats to intimidate them and shout at them “Go Filipinos.”

He said he did not personally experience being hosed or threatened with harm by the Chinese, but he heard first hand accounts of harassment, including being beamed on with what appeared to be laser.

One of the boats which figured in the incident was operated by Mundot Etac, Ferrer said.

He said the green colored light caused pain and that he and his group had to switch off their boat’s light to avoid being hit by the beam.

Ferrer said Etac and his crew were from Infanta but their fishing boat docks in Subic.

He said Etac and companions are still near the shoal.

Ferrer said he had experienced being attacked with water cannon but this would not deter them from going back to the shoal.

Meanwhile, Ohio-Class submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) arrived in Subic Bay yesterday.   

 

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