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Zambales town mayor orders own probe on ‘Chinese’ floating booms

Jul 29, 2015 @ 3:45

The mayor of Masinloc, Zambales, who has jurisdiction over the Scarborough Shoal, has ordered the local police force to conduct its separate investigation into the sightings of floating booms near the disputed territory.

Mayor Desiree Edora revealed that based on recent reports, more oil containment booms about two kilometres long have been seen near the shoal.

This was confirmed by Zambales Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II who reported that the booms were seen 92 kilometers or 50 nautical miles from the provincial capital of Iba.

“Yes, there are more buoys there,” Edora said. “I already sent the chief of police to investigate the buoys”.

On July 25, nine Filipino fishermen found three long, orange containment booms, used to control oil spills, floating about six miles off Scarborough Shoal.

The fishermen towed the buoys back to Masinloc.

Lacbain said the booms, which have Chinese markings, could have also been intended for dredging activities.

“These floating booms might have washed away from the territories being claimed by China. It could be a confirmation that China has activities [in the disputed sea],” the vice governor hinted.

Scarborough Shoal, also called Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal, is among the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea. It is about 230 km (124 nautical miles) west of Zambales.

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