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Sovereignty unresolved but we must be thankful for fishing rights

ON Scarborough Shoal, which is Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc to us, the Philippines and China have simply agreed to disagree.

China claims Scarborough is a historic part of China. It lies within the Nine-Dash Line that the Chinese government drew on a map in 1947. The Nine-Dash Line loops south from Hainan, following the Vietnamese coast, then east towards Palawan, north close to the various Philippine islands, then northeast to include Taiwan.

The Philippines, on the other hand, points out that Panatag is only 150 miles from the Zambales coast and is, therefore, well within the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, it emphasized that the Scarborough Shoal is a traditional fishing area for fishermen of various nations and should remain so.

During his China visit, President Duterte said he and President Xi Jinping both stood firm on their claims to sovereign rights to the shoal and surrounding waters. “I told him we won the case and we were told (Scarborough) belongs to us. But he said ‘That belongs to us historically and we will not give it up’.” The two leaders agreed that the dispute could be resolved through talks, President Duterte said.

In the next few days, we should see if the President was right to be optimistic. If he is, we should see our fishermen back at Scarborough or Panatag, from which they have been blocked by Chinese ships in the last four years.

In 2012, the Chinese had used water cannons to force Filipino fishing vessels away. It was what had caused then President Benigno S. Aquino III to file the Philippine case against China in The Hague.

We won the case in The Hague. It ruled that the Nine-Dash-Line has no legal basis. It upheld the freedom of navigation in the entire South China Sea, which was what concerned the United States the most. It ruled that traditional fishing grounds, such as those at Scarborough, should remain open to all fishermen.

None of his mattered to China which had declared from the beginning that it did not recognize the authority of The Hague. It continues to maintain this stand to this day. But now, after his visit, President Duterte believes our fishermen can soon return to their old fishing grounds and earn a living as they used to. The question of sovereignty remains unresolved, with both the Philippines and China claiming the shoal. But in the meanwhile until further talks, China – because of the goodwill visit of President Duterte – may cease blasting at Filipino fishing vessels with water cannons.

We thus continue to disagree on the legal issue of ownership and sovereignty. But we can agree on allowing fishing in the area. For this concession which President Duterte has managed to win, we must be thankful for now.

comments
  • ambrose

    dahil yan sa effort ni digong ang pagbalik ng karapatan para mangisda so 1st move plang to para makuha natin uli ang shoal

  • bolbitez

    kinuha lang ng pangulo ang karapatan natin

    • bornok

      ibig sabihin magnanakaw siya ng karapatan LOLz..

      • mang ku

        walng U-tak po kau,. di marunong sa logic

  • Odie Bulgar

    maraming pilipinong mangingisda ang matutuwa sa nagawang paraan ng pangulo

  • paul toledo

    sa wakas makakpalaot na uli mga mangingisda natin na naalisan ng kabuhayan dahil hiindi pinigilan ng arroyo, panot admins ang CH,. dahil kay digong makakapaghanabuhay na uli sila kung baga panatag na itachi!!

  • vanyvany

    si digong lang ang naglakas loob na makiusap sa china,,,

  • danica eliodoro

    isang puntos nanaman yan para sa kanya,. na taken for granted ng mga dilawan ang kanyang ginagawa,. pero yung iba ng bubulagbulagan na lang

  • trixiaCute

    malaking tulong ito sa ekonomiya ng ating bansa,,,

  • bonjour12

    mababawasan narin ngpagkabahala ang mga pilipinong mangingisda sa mga chinese

  • aubrey poon

    slamat saiyo pdu3o at naibalik mo ang karapatan ng mga mangingisda natin sa pag aari nating teritoryo

  • jhay garcia

    saan nman tayo aasa kundi sa tanging pangulo lang natin, magaling kaya sya.

  • mike pimentel

    sa muling pag huli ng mga mangingisda natin doon totoong malaking tylong yon sa kanila.

    • james santillan

      ngayon lang yan at pinabili na yan ni dugong sa intsik

      • justin tumunong

        kahit kailan walang ibinenta ang pangulo mabuti pa ikaw ang ibenta madami kami na susuporta sa pangulo!

  • alexis lim

    tiwala nman kami na maayos mo rin yan pdu30

  • cris.tore

    ayos ka po tlaga president Duterte malaki po ang tiwala namin sainyo

  • tristan147

    slamat po tatay digong dahil isa na po itong malaking tulong pra sa mga mangingisda.

  • christian

    salmat po pangulo sa ginawa mo na pagbbalik ng kabuhayan sa bansa natin.

  • julie

    maraming salamt sa patuloy na pagpapaunlad mo po ng bansa at pagbibigy muli ng kabuhay sa mga mangingisda.

  • annbisyosa

    another achievement for our president,malaki ang suporta namin sayo.

  • kris

    hindi talaga tayo bibiguin ng ating pangulo sa mga pinangako nya.

  • arnold

    alam ko naman hindi papabayaan ni digong na mag hirap ang bawat pilipino.

  • kyla

    my isang salita at my paninindigan yang si duterte kaya matigil na sana yung iba sa paninira skanya.

  • kevin

    wala namang ginawa si duterte kundi puro sa pag unlad ng ating bansa at para guminhawa na ang ating mga kababayan.