Marcos to back filing of case if there’s proof of cyanide use in WPS

Chinese Embassy slams BFAR claim, saying ‘it’s sheer fabrication’

By: Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Julie M. Aurelio - @inquirerdotnet - | February 21,2024 - 07:48 AM

Marcos to back filing of case if there’s proof of cyanide use. In photo is part of the Scarborough Schoal

Part of the Scarborough Shoal as seen from above using a drone camera TAKEN NOVEMBER 14, 2016. INQUIRER PHOTO BY REM ZAMORA

The filing of a case in connection with the alleged use of cyanide in Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) allegedly by foreign fishermen, “if there is enough ground to do so,” would be supported by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

President Marcos said this on Tuesday.

But an earlier claim by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) that Chinese fishermen use cyanide to “intentionally destroy Bajo de Masinloc” was described by the Chinese Embassy in a statement on Tusday that it was “sheer fabrication.”

READ: PH to build case on Chinese fishers’ alleged cyanide use in WPS

Marcos: If there is enough ground

There was no reference to those fishermen by Mr. Marcos or the media during his ambush interview with them, but he said, when asked by reporters about “cyanide fishing” that “If we feel that there is enough ground to do so, we will [pursue charges].”

“I do know that there are cases of cyanide fishing, even before, here in the Philippines. But I think the reason that it has been more alarming is that it has become more prevalent,” he added.


On Monday, Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya of the National Security Council said the Philippines will build a case on environmental destruction once BFAR validates the allegation of cyanide use.

Nazario Briguera, spokesperson for BFAR, said over the weekend that his claim of cyanide use at Bajo de Masinloc was based on accounts of Filipino fisherfolk.

But the Chinese Embassy said on Tuesday that “the allegation against Chinese fishermen is totally baseless and sheer fabrication.”

“The Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of ecological environment and conservation of fishery resources, and have [sic] taken resolute measures to crack down on any illegal fishing activities,” it added.

The embassy criticized the “groundless speculations, slanders and inconsistent statements of spokespersons of relevant Philippine agencies.”

“Such continuous disinformation has led up to nothing but exacerbation of the maritime tensions and destabilization of bilateral relations,” the embassy said, even as it asserted that “China has indisputable sovereignty” over the shoal and its adjacent waters.

BFAR draws flak

Meanwhile, fisherfolk group Pamalakaya issued a statement on Tuesday saying that BFAR had “failed” to enforce the law, in particular, Republic Act No. 10654, or the Amended Fisheries Code, in going after Chinese fishermen at Bajo de Masinloc.

READ: PH, US Air Force conduct next phase of 3rd joint patrol

“Despite the evident poaching and other destructive fishing activities of foreign fishing vessels in the country’s territorial waters, the BFAR continues to fail to implement its own fishing laws to protect the marine resources and Filipino fisherfolk,” the group said.

“With the wide area of shoals destroyed by China and other countries in the West Philippine Sea, a big amount of payment for damages could already be collected for these … to help Filipino fisherfolk whose catch [has] dropped because of the destroyed fishing grounds,” it said further. —WITH A REPORT FROM JACOB LAZARO INQ

ALSO READ: Marcos tells Fil-Chinese community to reflect on past accomplishments

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Bajo de Masinloc, cyanide, Scarborough Shoal

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.