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No fishing gear found on Chinese vessel rescued in Eastern Samar - PCG

The rescue of a damaged Chinese ship with seven crew members on Friday off Guiuan, Eastern Samar, has prompted an investigation by the Philippine authorities on how the ship ended up in the country's territorial waters.

This developed after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) did not find any fishing equipment on the vessel.

"Ang sinasasabi lang nila, galing sila sa China. Hindi pa ma-establish specifically kung saan sa China and pati yung registry number ng barko wala pa ring maibigay," said PCG spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo in Vonne Aquino's report on "24 Oras Weekend" on Saturday.

Representatives from the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Immigration will also take part in the investigation.

"Kung dahil sa panahon, nasiraan, walang problema 'yon, tutulungan ng coastal state. Pero kung merong illegal activities base doon sa inspeksyon at sa pagtatanong at nagduda yung coastal state, then we have the right to detain them lalo na kung walang papers ang barko," Balilo said.

The PCG said that it was in communication with the Chinese Embassy and that it had asked for an interpreter.

Meanwhile, China's Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian expressed his gratitude to the PCG for rescuing the Chinese nationals. 

The PCG said that they received a report at around 2:09 p.m. on Thursday that the Chinese vessel FV KAI DA 899 had its hull damaged, causing it to list.

The Coast Guard on Friday sent BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) to rescue the Chinese crew members.

The crew members were in good health, and the BRP Cabra proceeded to tow the vessel to Tacloban Port. —Sherylin Untalan/VBL, GMA Integrated News