More Chinese ships arrive at Scarborough Shoal

Posted at 05/03/2012 12:57 AM | Updated as of 05/03/2012 11:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines - There's still no end in sight to the Scarborough Shoal standoff, as more Chinese boats have arrived at the disputed territory.

There are now 14 Chinese vessels in the area, which is located just 124 nautical miles off Zambales, according to Armed Forces Northern Luzon Command spokesman Capt. Aurello Kigis.

He said the foreign ships include 3 maritime surveillance ships and a fisheries law enforcement command vessel.

The Philippines has deployed the Coast Guard's BRP Edsa Dos and a ship from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to the area.

There were 6 other Filipino fishing vessels in the area last Sunday, but it is not known how many have remained as of Wednesday.

Kigis said the Armed Forces of the Philippines continues to monitor the area to protect the Philippines' territorial integrity.

He declined to comment on the rising number of Chinese ships at the shoal, which is locally known as Panatag.

May 11 protests

Meanwhile, a Filipino-American leader is urging Filipinos worldwide to join next week's protests against China.
   
For the group US Pinoys for Good Governance, now is the time to stand up to what it calls as China's bullying at Scarborough Shoal.

"I'm calling on the global Pinoys who are concerned about this intrusion of China and who are singing the national anthem, 'Sa manlulupig, di ka pasisiil', let's stand up and show up on Friday, May 11," said the group's leader, Loida Nicolas Lewis.

Filipinos in the US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and other countries are expected to launch protests in front of Chinese embassies and consulates, Lewis told ANC on Wednesday.

"The international family of nations should see that this big wannabe worldpower China, is not following international law," she said.

Lewis will lead the protests in New York.

In Manila, the rallies will be spearheaded by partylist group Akbayan.

At the Foreign Affairs Department, officials asserted that the Philippine will stand its ground at Scarborough Shoal.

While the US refuses to take sides in the territorial dispute, the DFA said Manila's key ally will not tolerate the use of force and that it shares the Philippine position that the standoff must be resolved legally and peacefully.

'Hacker wars' continue

The Scarborough standoff has spawned tit-for-tat Internet attacks by hackers from the 2 countries.

This week, alleged hackers from China tried to bring down the websites of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and other Philippine government agencies through distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDOS).

DOST Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) executive director Louis Casambre said they noticed a sudden surge in the server web traffic in several government websites early Monday morning and Tuesday night.

He said the incidents show an "intent to overwhelm" Philippine government websites' servers.

Meanwhile, hackers from the Philippines are retaliating by defacing Chinese websites.

Members of hackers groups such as "PrivateX," "Anonymous #OccupyPhilippines" and "Anonymous Butuan" have left messages on Chinese websites.

"You may continue bullying our country's waters but we will not tolerate you from intimidating our own cyber shores. Those defacements are just a mere response to what you have initially started. We are not trying to start anything. We are just trying to tell you that we do not want to be bullied in our own cyberspace too," one message said.

The DOST has urged Filipino hackers to stop their attacks.

Casambre added that the DOST cannot do anything yet and China has not made an official request for help from the Philippine government to stop the attacks on Chinese websites. - with reports from Jing Castañeda and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News; ANC