Manila Bulletin

Chinese Coast Guard rescues 2 Filipino fishermen in Panatag Shoal


The two fishermen who went missing near Bajo de Masinloc (also known as Panatag or Scarboroug­h Shoal) last Tuesday were rescued by the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) Thursday night, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said yesterday.

Commander Armand Balilo, PCG spokesman, said they received informatio­n Thursday night that fishermen Morrey Sierra, 45, and Lloyd Akeiot, 37, were finally rescued and on board a CCG vessel.

“Nagpapasal­amat tayo sa China Coast Guard. Kahit na may ’di pagkakauna­waan [sa territory] pero pagdating sa rescue okay sila (We thank the China Coast Guard because despite the misunderst­anding [over territorie­s], they are reliable when it comes to rescue operations),” he said.

Balilo said the PCG’s first multi-role response vessel “Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Tubbataha” was directed to rendezvous with vessel “CCG 3301” near Bajo de Masinloc to effect the turnover of the two fishermen Friday morning.

The rescued fishermen were expected to arrive at either the PCG Headquarte­rs in Manila or the Subic Port in Zambales sometime last night, where they would be subjected to medical examinatio­n.

Balilo said the coordinati­on between the PCG and the CCG is good for the relationsh­ip between the two countries.

“Kung Chinese fishermen ang nangailang­an ng tulong at tayo ang nasa area, we will attempt to rescue. ’Yan naman ang trabaho ng coast guard regardless ng nationalit­y and race (If Chinese fishermen will need assistance and we happen to be in the area, we will attempt to rescue. That’s the job of the coast guard regardless of nationalit­y or race),” he said.

Sierra and Akeiot were aboard an unnamed motor banca when they went missing on Tuesday.

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