Equipment found by fishermen used for exploration — fishers’ group

Manila, Philippines — The equipment believed to be a Chinese-owned, found by fishermen in the waters off Pangasinan was a submersible pump, a device commonly used for testing and identifying water classifications, the progressive fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) confirmed on Friday.

In a statement, the fishers’ group raised the possibility that China is already conducting surveys in areas potential for oil and mineral resources which would lead to actual exploration activities.

“The equipment contained pump and motor portions which lift the fluid to the surface to explore and examine the seafloor. This could be China’s preparation for an actual drilling and exploration in our exclusive economic zone,” Bobby Roldan, PAMALAKAYA Vice Chairperson for Luzon confirmed in a statement.

Roldan, a fisherman in Zambales province, said the incident should cause an alarm as it may be a precursor to Chinese oil and mineral exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

“China may be preparing for an exploration of our oil and gas reserves in our territorial waters, on top of its ongoing illegal poaching of our fishery resources and destruction of coral reefs through massive reclamation activities. It could be another violation of our national patrimony and territorial integrity,” Roldan added.

The fishers’ group said that the owner of the equipment should be traced and summoned before the authorities for investigation. ###

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