DFA checking report of alleged Chinese harassment of PHL fishers
Posted: 2017-Apr-21 08.22.32 UTC+0800
MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is checking into reports that the Chinese coast guard had harassed Filipinos fishing in the disputed West Philippine Sea, also called South China Sea.
"We are currently verifying this report with our security agencies," said DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar in a statement.
Some fishermen in Mariveles, Bataan were reportedly harassed by Chinese coast guard.
Several countries have made competing claims over the West Philippine Sea, including China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Bolivar said there are mechanisms set up to tackle issues related to the sea row.
"With the current positive momentum in Philippine-China relations, we have mechanisms in place where the Philippines can raise such issues," he said.
These include the bilateral consultation mechanism, which is meant to tackle issues of concern in the West Philippine Sea, he added.
Bolivar earlier said the West Philippine Sea would be among the important topics to be discussed by the leaders of ASEAN members when they meet here next week.
The Philippines will host the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings from April 26 to 29. (PNA)