Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014
Asia
 

Philippines to charge 'poachers' despite China warning

Published on May 12, 2014 3:36 PM
 
An undated handout photo released by Philippine National Police Maritime Palawan shows dead sea turtles lying on the deck of a Chinese-flagged fishing boat as it was towed by Philippine police to the town of Taytay on the western Philippine island of Palawan. Philippine prosecutors said on Monday they would charge nine Chinese fishermen arrested in disputed South China Sea waters with environmental crimes, despite Beijing's warning of a dire effect on relations. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines (AFP) - Philippine prosecutors said on Monday they would charge nine Chinese fishermen arrested in disputed South China Sea waters with environmental crimes, despite Beijing's warning of a dire effect on relations.

The decision, announced by prosecutors in Puerto Princesa on Palawan island, is set to further stoke the simmering territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Prosecutor Allan Ross Rodriguez said he would file charges in court later Monday, rejecting the appeals of two Chinese diplomats who met him earlier in the day about the case.

"It is clear: there was a fishing vessel, Chinese fishermen, a catch of (protected) sea turtles. It is clear from what the apprehending officers said," Mr Rodriguez said, explaining the basis for his decision. Chinese embassy officials in Manila could not be contacted for comment.

 
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