BACKGROUND ON THE BAJO DE MASINLOC (PANATAG) INCIDENT
Bajo de Masinloc is an integral part of the Philippine territory. It is part of the Municipality of Masinloc, Province of Zambales. It is located 124 nautical miles west of Zambales and is within the 200 nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Philippine Continental Shelf.
A Philippine Navy Surveillance aircraft monitored eight (8) Chinese fishing vessels anchored inside the Bajo de Masinloc (Panatag Shoal) on Sunday, 8 April 2012, in the conduct of its maritime patrols and its enforcement of the Philippine Fisheries Code and marine environment laws. On 10 April 2012, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, in accordance with the established Rules of Engagement, dispatched an inspection team that reported that large amounts of illegally collected corals, giant clams and live sharks were found in the compartments of these fishing vessels.
The actions of the Chinese fishing vessels are a serious violation of the Philippines’ sovereignty and maritime jurisdiction. The poaching of endangered marine resources is in violation of the Fisheries Code and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
You can read the full text on this link Philippine Position on Bajo de Masinloc and the Waters within its Vicinity