A Chinese vessel, carrying 10 Chinese fishermen, rammed a Philippine government Monitoring, Control and Surveillance vessel (MCS) 3010, jointly manned by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), off Camiguin in the Babuyan Islands evening of May 25.
Philippine authorities spotted three Chinese fishing vessels, one marked with ‘Subic’ flying the Philippine flag at 8 pm. “At first glance, there was nothing irregular with the ship, but when we tried to communicate with them through radio, they did not answer,” MCS 3010 commander PCG Lieutenant Jeffrey Collado said.
Collado said two of three vessels turned off lights and immediately left.
The third Chinese steel-vessel rammed MCS 3010 leaving a dent.
Collado then radioed MCS 3007 which was heading north to Babuyan Island under the command of PCG Captain Allen Toribio.
The Chinese vessel sailed zigzag trying to get away from two government vessels. The chase lasted for 2 hours.
“When our ship was positioned at the back of the Chinese fishing boat, our boarding team boarded the fishing boat and they crept toward the bridge of the fishing board and ordered the skipper to stop,” Toribio said. “There were other additional personnel who helped secure fishing boat. Our men are used to boarding ships even at high speed.”
Ten arrested Chinese fishermen were brought immediately to Port Irene in Cagayan for further investigation.
“If it would be confirmed that there were black corals on board, additional charges might be filed against them because black corals are considered endangered species. This would be a violation of the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora,” Captain Toribio said.