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Masinloc fishers sail buoy effigy in protest vs China’s aggression

A group of fishermen on Monday released a buoy effigy from San Salvador Island in Masinloc, Zambales to protest China’s aggression and harassment in Scarborough Shoal.

In a statement, the Association of Masinloc Fishermen said China’s continued actions in  Scarborough led to “hunger and anger” of fisherfolks.

The giant buoy has text on it that reads, “ATIN ANG PINAS” or “The Philippines is ours”.

Richard Pascual, incoming barangay captain of San Salvador, said the island is dependent on resources from the ocean for food and livelihood.

While thanking the Philippine government for its efforts to support fishermen and defend their right to fish in Scarborough, Pascual appealed for a peaceful sailing.

“I want to personally thank our mayor Arsena J. Lim for the continuous support to our fishermen. We also thank our President Ferdinand Marcos and the Coast Guard for continuously defending our right to fish in the Scarborough,” he said.

"Our only appeal is the peaceful sailing in our ocean to secure livelihood for our family," he added.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año earlier insisted that the Philippines has the right to patrol Scarborough Shoal after China accused a Philippine military ship of “illegally” entering the area.

In a statement in reaction to the Chinese military's claim, Año said China was “overhyping” the incident and triggering tensions with the Philippines.

“Under international law, the Philippines has every right to patrol the length and breadth of the West Philippine Sea which necessarily includes Bajo de Masinloc which is well within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” Año said, using the local name of Scarborough Shoal.

“China is again overhyping this incident and creating unnecessary tensions between our two nations,” he added.

China's military said that a Philippine military ship “illegally entered" waters near Scarborough Shoal without authorization and it urged the Philippines to immediately stop its provocations.

China and the Philippines have had several confrontations in the South China Sea, recently trading accusations about a collision between a Chinese coast guard vessel and a boat from the Philippines.

“We are urging the Philippine side to immediately stop its infringement and provocations, and earnestly avoid further escalation,” said senior colonel Tian Junli, a spokesperson for the People's Liberation Army Southern Theater Command.—Joviland Rita/AOL, GMA Integrated News