Chinese ships, aircraft allegedly harass PH vessel
MANILA, Philippines - Tension continues at Scarborough Shoal after Chinese ships and aircraft harassed a Philippine research boat in the area, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez on Monday said the Philippines filed another diplomatic protest with China through Beijing's ambassador in Manila over the incident.
He said Chinese ships and aircraft harassed the M/Y Saranggani, a Philippine-registered boat doing archaeological research on Bajo de Masinloc, or Scarborough Shoal.
"Such actions are in violation of the sovereign right and jurisdiction of the Philippines to conduct marine research in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone," Hernandez said.
He said the ship's research work is in an area within the municipality of Masinloc in Zambales. He added that Bajo de Masinloc is 124 nautical miles west of Zambales and is within the 200-nautical-mile EEZ and continental shelf of the Philippines.
"The Philippines demanded that the Chinese ships and aircraft cease the harassments of and fly-bys over M/Y Saranggani so that the boat and its crew can complete its work," the DFA official said.
"Any attempted action by Chinese ships or aircraft against the M/Y Saranggani will be considered by the Philippines as a gross violation of its natonal laws and of international law," he added.