Sat, May 18, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taipei-Manila Row: Incident does not surprise a veteran captain once detained in Philippines

By Tsai Chung-hsien and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

He also denounced the behavior of Filipino seamen, which he described as “atrocious.”

"When these navy sailors and officers came aboard our boat, they would loot almost everything we had, from raincoats and videotapes to food, tissues and other materials," Chang said.

"If we were lucky, we were allowed to leave and go home, otherwise they would plant evidence against us and confiscate our boat. They would strip the boat’s engine and all the usable instruments. Then they would demand that we pay a heavy fine," he added.

Chang recalled elderly fishermen advising them to keep about NT$500,000 in cash on board, so if their boat was detained by Philippine seamen, giving them the cash usually could ensure the crew’s safety and the boat’s release.

"However, the overlapping economic exclusion zones of Taiwan and the Philippines are troublesome. If our own government does not take strong action to resolve the matter, Taiwanese fishermen may have to give up this large fishing area. Or else, the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 incident will not be the last," Chang said.

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