- Chinese patrol ships were seen stationed at Quirino Atoll for several weeks
- Filipino fishermen claim they were prevented by Chinese ships from fishing in the area
- Quirino atoll is a known traditional fishing ground for Filipino fishermen from Luzon, Visayas and Manila
MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese troops has reportedly taken control of another Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea; preventing access by local fisherman to what has been historically a traditional Filipino fishing ground.
A report by Jaime Laude for the Philippine Star said Chinese patrol ships blocked Filipino fishermen from coming closer to or staying at Quirino Atoll (or Jackson Atoll); a rich source of fish for fishermen from Palawan, Southern Luzon, Western Visayas and Metro Manila.
Quirino Atoll is situated between the Philippine-controlled Lawak Island and the Chinese-occupied Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef) and is a part of Palawan province.
Fishermen from Mindoro Occidental also confirmed to the Philippine Star the presence of four white-and-gray-ships inside the lagoon and others which prevented them from entering the area.
Kalayaan Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon Jr. also added that the ships had been staying in the atoll for several weeks now.
“They have many ships there,” Bito-onon said.
Meanwhile, the Philippine military said it received reports about the incident and is now verifying the information. (Click here to read more)