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11月3日のまにら新聞から

English Articles

No guarantee how long Filipinos can continue fish in Scarborough : Palace

[ 359 words|2016.11.3|英字 ]

Malacanang admitted on Wednesday there is no guarantee until when Filipinos will not be barred from fishing by the Chinese coast guard in the disputed South China Sea .

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said there was no official discussion between the Philippines and China that Filipinos would no longer be prevented from fishing near the Scarborough Shoal.

"At this stage, we're not talking guarantees. We're just going by the fact that they, the fishermen can just go (there)," Abella said.

Asked if this means China could bar Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal, Abella said, "Let's just put it this way, according to the present arrangement, they just go and fish."

"We don't know if it's temporary, but at this stage, it's allowed and as the president (Rodrigo Duterte) said...when the time comes, they need to be discussed. The president will not go beyond the rulings that have been credited to the Philippines ."

Last week, the Chinese coast guard did not drive Filipinos from going near the Scarborough Shoal to fish.

This came after Duterte's state visit to China on October 18-21 when he brought up the concern regarding the plight of the Filipino fishermen with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Duterte did not delve on the July ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration declaring China 's nine-dash line in the South China Sea, practically covering the entire area including those within the 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone of the Philippines , as invalid.

Scarborough or locally known as Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc is off Zambales province. The Philippines says it is within its exclusive economic zone.

In a separate text message to Daily Manila Shimbun, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said he did not want to speculate until when China would allow Filipinos to fish in Scarborough .

"What is important is our fishermen can now make the most out of Panatag Shoal," he said.

Under the PCA award, Scarborough is a traditional fishing ground for both the Filipinos and Chinese, which means that Philippines does not need any approval from China in order to fish in the area. Celerina Monte/DMS