PH just giving China 'fishing rights - Pres. Duterte

PH just giving China 'fishing rights - Pres. Duterte

There will be no surrendering of sovereign rights by the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during an exclusive TV interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, clarified his stance with respect to the Chinese fishing within the exclusive economic zone of the country.

Duterte said the Philippines will continue to assert sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea, it may also give China “fishing rights”. 

Pres. Duterte amidst the Philippine occupied Pag -Asa island in the Spratlys.
(photo credit to owner)

This was the October 2016 deal he made with Chinese President Xin Jinping  to allow Chinese fishermen within Philippine waters as long as China will allow Filipinos to fish in the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
“Sabi nila, ’Bakit mo pinayagan ang China?’ Sabi ko (They say, ‘Why did you allow China?’ I said), ‘As far as I'm concerned, I'm the owner, and I'm just giving the fishing rights,’” Duterte said.

He explains that Filipinos will be at the losing end if he will prevent Chinese from fishing within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“Kasi tayo ang kawawa ngayon eh kung hindi tayo magpasok doon (Because we will be at the losing end if we don’t allow them there) invoking fishing --- traditional fishing rights, we cannot fish there. That is how constricted these guys are,” Duterte said.
“It's called fishing rights, that they have been fishing there for centuries for their food,” Pres. Duterte said.
“If they claim that it is theirs, so they will be the one to give us the fishing rights,” the chief executive added.

To add, Duterte said he could not simply drive China away from territories they claimed.
“So sabi nila (They say), ‘Duterte, you must protect our marine resources and people fishing there. You must drive them out,’" the President said.

“Alam naman talaga na it's impossible kay sabihin man ng China (They really know that it’s impossible because China will say), ‘Who are you to tell us to get out there? This is our ocean.’ That's why it's named China Sea. It's not named Philippine Sea,” he added.
In the same TV interview, the President blames the previous administration of Noynoy Aquino III for losing ownership of the Panatag Shoal which is within the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile EEZ.

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Report from PNA

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