Tolentino seeks Senate probe on alleged cyanide fishing in Scarborough Shoal
Tolentino seeks Senate probe on alleged cyanide fishing in Scarborough Shoal
Tolentino seeks Senate probe on alleged cyanide fishing in Scarborough Shoal
by Christhel Cuazon26 February 2024
Photo courtesy: REUTERS

Senator Francis Tolentino on


A resolution has been filed at the Senate calling for an investigation into the alleged cyanide fishing by Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen at Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal, in the West Philippine Sea.

Senator Francis Tolentino filed proposed Senate Resolution 938 to direct the appropriate Senate committee to launch an inquiry in aid of legislation on the reported cyanide fishing.

"[I]t is incumbent upon the Republic of the Philippines to investigate the said allegations not only because the same causes the destruction of our marine ecosystem but also undermines the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Philippines," Tolentino said in his resolution.

On February 17, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported that their recent deployments at Bajo de Masinloc found the lagoon heavily damaged, possibly due to cyanide fishing by Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen.


Filipino fishermen had purportedly told BFAR that China was deliberately harming the shoal to deter Filipinos from fishing there. Damage to the ecosystem has reached "billions of pesos," the BFAR said.

China's Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, earlier said allegations that Chinese fishermen had been using cyanide were sheer fabrication.

While emphasizing that China had sovereignty over "Huangyan Dao" and its adjacent waters, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told the Global Times that the "Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of eco-environment and conservation of fishing resource and resolutely fights against fishing activities that violate laws and regulations."

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has already expressed openness to file cases in relation to the alleged cyanide fishing.


Last Monday, National Task Force West Philippine Sea (NTF WPS) spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the Philippines may file cases against China and Vietnam amid reports by Filipino fishermen of cyanide fishing at Bajo de Masinloc.

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