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Tawi-Tawi fishermen say 2 China warships patrolling Turtle group of islands

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By Nonoy Lacson

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Fishermen fishing along the sea lanes of southern Tawi-Tawi province on Monday expressed fear of their safety after two China warships continued to patrol near the Turtle group of islands in Taganak, Tawi-Tawi.

(Google Maps / MANILA BULLETIN)

(Google Maps / MANILA BULLETIN)

Hadji Abdul Sahibul, a fisherman, said most of them fishing in the sea waters of the municipality expressed fear for their safety after the China warships continued to visit the area, and even made stopovers for at least an hour before proceeding with their voyage.

Taganak Mayor Hadji Moh Faisal Jamalul said the livelihood of most of his constituents was now affected with the presence of the two China warships doing patrols in the area at least once a week.

Jamalul said “ the main livelihood of my people in the  municipality is fishing and with the presence of these two big Chinese warships, their fishing activities are now affected.”

Jamalul described the Chinese warships as “ready to engage in any war at sea at any time due their size and the armament they carry.

He said the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station in Taganak and their sea craft are no match for the two war vessels of China.

“I do not know why these war vessels of China are patrolling near us and doing some stopover for an hour in the area before they sail to a new direction,” the mayor said.

Adding that “it is not only our fishermen that is threaten and now living in fear, including our people and the government of Taganak, also feels insecure.”

Jamalul called on the Philippine Navy station near the Philippine-Malaysia border to conduct more patrols in the area.

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