MANILA - More than a dozen fishermen from Pangasinan have cried foul over an alleged harassment by the Chinese Coast Guard near Scarborough Shoal.

The 17 fishermen from Barangay Cato in Infanta, Pangasinan arrived Thursday after a week of sailing into the West Philippine Sea.

They claimed the Chinese Coast Guard on Monday evening used blinding, powerful lights to drive them away.

The group said the green-colored lights caused pain to their eyes so they just hid in their boat.

Boat captain Greggy Itac also said another boat owned by fishermen from Subic, Zambales was hit by rubber boats of the Chinese Coast Guard.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said it has yet to receive any report from the fishermen about the alleged incidents of harassment.

Scarborough Shoal serves as a port for boats of Filipino fishermen in the disputed West Philippine Sea or South China Sea, especially if there is a typhoon.

China says the shoal, which lies about 220 kilometers off Luzon, is part of its historical claim to most of the South China Sea.

The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have competing claims to parts of the sea.

Asked if they will still go back in the area, the fishermen said yes, noting that fishing is their only source of living.