MANILA - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) apprehended Monday two Chinese fishing vessels flying an inverted Philippine flag off the waters of Babuyan Island and Batanes province.
A total of 25 Chinese nationals were aboard the accosted vessels Shen Lian Cheng 719 and Shen Lian Cheng 720.
The BFAR and PCG were conducting seaborne patrol when they chanced upon the Chinese ships flying an inverted Philippine flag.
Inspection of documents also indicated that the fishing vessels are registered with China. The boat crew also failed to present authorization to traverse Philippine waters.
Undersecretary for Fisheries Atty. Asis Perez said the Chinese fishermen were apparently engaged in poaching, and have used the Philippine flag to conceal their identities.
The fishing vessels were escorted to Basco, Batanes for further investigation.
Asis said the Department of Foreign Affairs is set to notify the Chinese Embassy of the incident. -- With a report from Dennis Datu, dzMM