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Rody declares Panatag as maritime sanctuary

President Duterte has decided to issue a formal order declaring Panatag or Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea a maritime sanctuary where Filipinos and Chinese will be prohibited from fishing, officials said in a statement yesterday.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said Duterte relayed his plan to Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Peru that ended Sunday.

Esperon and other Cabinet officials present at the meeting said Xi did not say whether or not he agreed to Duterte’s plan in the Scarborough Shoal.

China seized Scarborough in 2012 after a tense maritime standoff with the Philippines. Duterte’s plan is delicate because it may imply Philippine territorial control in a strategic shoal, which Chinese Coast Guard ships have closely guarded.

Both governments have also mutually suspected each other of harboring plans to erect concrete structures in the Scarborough’s shallow lagoon to cement their territorial claims.

If Duterte’s plan proceeds, Filipino, Chinese, and other fishermen would only be allowed to fish in the deeper waters just outside Scarborough, which has a vast triangular-shaped lagoon naturally fenced by coral outcrops with an entryway watched by Chinese Coast Guard personnel.

“You can go in but … don’t fish because it’s a maritime sanctuary,” Duterte’s Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.

After taking control of Scarborough, which lies off the northwestern Philippines, Chinese Coast Guard personnel shooed away Filipino fishermen, at times with the use of water cannons or by deploying armed personnel on speed boats to chase them off.

Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno S. Aquino III, responded by bringing the shoal dispute and other territorial issues against China to international arbitration. An international tribunal ruled in July against China, saying it violated the Filipinos’ rights by banning them from fishing.

China, however, ignored the ruling, which also invalidated its vast claims to virtually all of the South China Sea.

Duterte, who took office in June, reversed his predecessor’s adversarial stance and reached out to China.

Shortly after Duterte discussed the Scarborough dispute with Xi in a state visit to Beijing, Filipinos were allowed to return to the shoal to fish. Philippine Coast Guard ships also resumed patrols in the vicinity of the shoal. (AP)

comments
  • john R.

    yan ang dapat yung may pakialam sa kalikasan

  • marchan

    para kasi ang makinabang ang china kaya ganyan

    • kris

      ang gusto lang ni duterte eh protektahan ang magagandang yamang dagat!

    • jay

      kalikasan ang manginginabang sa hakbang na yan!

  • olive

    para naman yan sa mga nex gen na mangingisda at para hindi masira ang pamumuhay nila

  • markus x

    yun naman talga dapat ang kailangan ang alagaan ang likas na yaman ng bansa

  • honelynT

    yan ang may puso sa kalikasan di alng inniintindi ang mamayang pilipino pati ang yamang dagat natin

  • james

    muli na nating nakuha ang karapatang mangisda sa scarborough! Galing talaga ng pangulo natin!

  • Mina

    alam na yan! pinabili mo kasi sa china

    • jomar

      gusto nya lang maprotektahan ang mga yamang dagat!

  • shane lastimosa

    Magandang balita yan kung nagka ganun bali nman ulit ang mangingisda doon

    • jake hernandez

      kunwari lang yan ni digong

      • A_C

        hindi mo ba alam na bali na nga saatin ang karapatan

  • james mesias

    dpat nating alagaaan ang ating yamang dagat

  • steve garcia

    yan ang bigay ng ating panginoon ang yaman ng kalikasan na dpat nating alagaan at wag aabusuhin

  • Cass_anton

    yan ang tunay na leader marunong umunawa ng kalikasan

  • kevin–kevz

    iniisip ng pangulo para naman sa next gen may maabutan pa sila na mgandang kalikasan

  • clarisse ;)

    hooo plastic lang dugong kunwari ka pa may concern sa kalikasan ang totoo wala naman!

    • tom@sison

      ikaw plastic masahol ka pa sa hayop yan na paguugali mo at pagpapakita mo ng walang respeto sa pangulo! hindi ka tao!

  • Alexandra (diwata)

    ayos ito para mas lalo pang yumaman ang kalikasn natin galing mo po tlaga pangulong Duterte

  • kier Luis

    para din yan sa susunod pa,bilib talaga ako sa pamumuno ni digong.

    • aRiEL

      kaya hindi ako nagka mali sa pag pili ky duterte,lahat gagawin nya para sa ating bansa.

  • gigi leny

    lahat naman talagang ginagawa ni tatay digong ay pinag iisipang mainggi kayat maganda ang kinalalabasan.

  • glenn robio

    daming pakulo ni dutae para magpa sikat lang sa mga tao.

    • analisa

      palibhasa wala kang alam sa mga nagawa ni duterte kaya ganyan kawalang kwenta ang kokote mo.

  • kapuh

    Bawal sa pinoy pero pwede sa chino!!