MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine president's spokesman says the Chinese coast guard's seizures of fish caught by Filipino fishermen near a disputed shoal are unacceptable.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque presented three fishermen who described their travails in a news conference Monday at the presidential palace.
Roque said he and the foreign secretary have raised the incidents with the Chinese ambassador in Manila, who, he said, has assured them that the Chinese coast guard personnel would be punished if the Filipinos' complaints are proven after an investigation.
The recent incidents at the Scarborough Shoal drew attention after a local TV network interviewed some fishermen and showed video of the alleged Chinese confiscations. The incidents come despite friendlier ties between the Asian neighbors under President Rodrigo Duterte, who has avoided strongly criticizing China in public.