The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is finalizing the repatriation of the remaining 11 Filipino seafarers stranded in Chinese waters onboard Ocean Star 86 since March 24.
The DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are already coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in China. OWWA said the seafarers will be able to return home by next week.
“Mayroon na po napipintong repatriation either this coming week or first week of October ng ating mga mahal na stranded seafarers sa China (Our stranded seafarers in China will be repatriated either this coming week or first week of October). We are now providing assistance to the seafarers,” according to OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.
Based on the information received by OWWA, the Ocean Star 86 is docked in the mainland and the Philippine Embassy in China has been providing assistance to the seafarers. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – The fresh diplomatic protest filed by the Philippines against China over its coast guard’s “illegal confiscation” of fish aggregating devices installed by Filipino fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc will not affect the friendship between the two countries, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said lodging of protests over acts deemed violative of the country’s sovereign rights is part of the job of Philippine diplomats.
“‘Yang mga protests naman ginagawa talaga yan ng ating mga diplomats kung meron sa tingin natin na lalalabag sa ating soberenya o doon sa ating tinatawag natin sovereign rights,” he said.
“Pero hindi naman po makakaapekto doon sa kabuuan ng ating matalik na pagsasamahan sa panig ng bansa natin at ng bansang Tsina,” he added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said it has lodged a diplomatic protest against China over the incident that took place in May.
Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal is a vital spawning ground for fish that lies over 100 nautical miles from the coast of Masinloc, Zambales.
It is among the areas in the South China Sea being claimed by China, including waters within the exclusive economic zones of Malaysia, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hage rules that under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, the Bajo de Masinloc is a common fishing ground and that China’s claims over the strategic body of water is not valid. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) lodged on Thursday (August 20) a diplomatic protest against China over the illegal confiscation by the Chinese Coast Guard of fish aggregating devices (payaos) of Filipino fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc in May.
The DFA added that “the Philippines also resolutely objected to China’s continuing illicit issuances of radio challenges Philippine aircraft conducting legitimate regular maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea.”
In July 2016, the arbitral tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands ruled in favor of the Philippines to invalidate China’s historical claims on the self-proclaimed ‘nine-dash line’ in the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea.
The Philippines maintains that Bajo de Masinloc is well within the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the arbitral ruling declares it as a common fishing ground for Filipino, Vietnamese or even Chinese fishermen.
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