Chinese Vessel Stuck in Tubbataha Reef, Chinese Fishermen Invade Philippine waters
Chinese Vessel Runs aground in Tubbataha Reef, Chinese Fishermen Invade Philippine waters
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman Lt. Commander Armand Balilo announced that a Chinese fishing vessel ran aground at the Tubbataha marine sanctuary late Monday.
Min Long Yu, with bow no. 63168, is currently stuck 1.1 nautical miles east of the Tubbataha ranger station. The Chinese boat's dimension is 48m by 4m, steel-hulled fishing boat which came from Fujian, China.
At around 11:40p.m. the park rangers saw something on the radar prompting them to immediately dispatch a team to verify the case. The ship was only one nautical mile from the station but they had difficulty communicating with the fishermen, who were speaking in Mandarin. Fishing paraphernalia as well as wildlife such as turtles were found on the boat. The Chinese fishermen were arrested and transferred to the coast guard ship, BRP Romblon, and detained them for questioning in Puerto Princesa City.
Malacañang said the Chinese fishermen are under investigation for illegal entry. Military forces under the Western Command led by Maj. Gen. Rustico Guerrero said they would support the filing of charges against the Chinese fishermen.
Initial reports state that the 12 Chinese crew members will be fined with 100,000USD as mandated under Section 87 of the Fisheries Code. But it could be more than that if proven guilty of poaching in Phippine waters. An administrative fine of between $50,000 and $200,000 may also be imposed, according to the law in addition to the confiscation of their catch, fishing equipment and vessel.
At least eight other vessels have run aground in Tubbataha in past years, including a Greenpeace ship which accidentally got stuck in the corals in 2005 while studying the impact of global warming on coral reefs. Greenpeace officials expressed regrets and paid a fine. Recently the US Navy minesweeper USS Guardian got stuck and had to be dismantled during the salvage operation.
Meanwhile, military intelligence reports said Chinese defense and military authorities have been sending fishing vessels to Philippine waters to spy on the ongoing development of Philippine gas fields, specifically within the Malampaya Gas Field off Palawan.
Tubbataha reef is a 97,000-hectare diving destination designated a World Heritage site by Unesco, the United Nations’ cultural arm, for its rich biodiversity.
Excerpts came from PhilStar, PDI news, and SunStar
1. People's Republic of China (PRC) has exploited all forms of espionage. According to Federal government of United States, China has various well-trained human spies around the globe who gather all types of information. United States had a hard time in mapping the entire network of agents and contacts. (Wikipedia) Hence, we believe that aside from poaching endangered marine species, these 12 Chinese "invaders" also have another mission in our territory -- reconnaissance.
2. The Tubbataha Management Office (TMO) admitted that they switch the radar system every three hours since they do not have the resources to keep the radar equipment on 24/7. ( SunStar) In that interval, marine rangers are blind against any Chinese vessel that will sail over the protected area. Simple solution but very hard to execute--re-allocate 'pork barrel' appropriation and let's continue to purchase more naval warships.
3. This is not the first time that China 'ILLEGALLY' entered the Philippine territory. Chinese Warship run aground in Philippine Soil last year. Philippines decided to request for international arbitration to peacefully address the territorial dispute with China though it was completely rejected by Beijing. So, is the latest illegal entry of a Chinese vessel in Tubbataha, a planned provocation of China?
4. When the US Navy minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground in Tubbataha, hundreds to thousands of activists flocked into the US embassy but now where are they? Will they attack the Chinese embassy too?
5. Do Filipinos 'TRULY' care about the state of our territorial dispute? We've been asking ourselves, how many Filipinos are really mindful of our land and water assets? Let me tell you a real life story. On my way to work last year, the cab driver tuned his radio in a certain AM band and moments later, I heard a disgusting comment from a radio commentator, whom I thought on his 60's. He firmly said that we just have to abandon our claim over the Panatag Shoal and have China take it. Our dear readers, I cried that very moment I heard his statement on air. There could be millions of Filipinos in the bus, jeepneys, tricycles, etc. who might have heard him. I want to give you the details of his arguments.
According to the radio commentator, during the Spanish invasion, the Filipinos were slaves. Second, we don't have a strong military, naval, and air force assets. Third, he has doubts with the Mutual Defense Treaty signed by United States and the Philippines. And his conclusion was-- let's just be slave with China and have a peaceful life and stay away from war. The radio commentator said that it's okay to be slave because we were slaves way back 300 years ago.
I could not accept his ideas. The radio commentator is just one of the many Filipinos who are willing to let go of the Panatag Shoal and other Islands to China. I am not pessimistic, but I know that there are thousands or could be millions of Filipinos who are also willing to abandon our claims.
But still, this won't stop DiversityHuman.com to seek more Filipinos to be on our side. We love our country..we will never abandon our land from any Chinese invasion...We are willing to die for our motherland! How about you?