Palace Boasts Scarborough Shoal Better For Pinoy Fishermen Now
SCARBOROUGH SHOAL ISSUE – Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque boasts that Filipino fishermen now have a better experience in Scarborough Shoal.
Previously, Scarborough Shoal has become a hotly debated issue, especially during the 2016 presidential elections. During that time, Filipino fishermen suffered drastically due to their livelihood being barred by Chinese vessels.
As a response, President Duterte promised the fishermen that he’d remove the Chinese vessels to allow fisherfolk to continue with their livelihood. Skip ahead to 2021, Roque believes that because of Duterte’s initiatives, the situation of Pinoy fishermen in the shoal has drastically been better.
During a press briefing, the Presidential Spokesperson emphasized that unlike the past, fishermen can now fish in the Scarborough Shoal, locally known as Bajo de Masinloc. Before, fishermen would be harassed and be sent back to shore once they encounter the Chinese.
However, Roque now says:
Dati, hindi sila makapunta ng Bajo de Masinloc. Malaking bagay ho iyon [na nakakapunta na sila ngayon]. Bakit sila (Chinese) hindi gumagamit ng water cannon para itaboy kayo? Bakit di sila tinatakot at forcibly hinaharang?
This was a response to fisherfolk group PAMALAKAYA saying most Filipino fishermen couldn’t go to the Shoal for fears of harassments from the Chinese. According to a fisherman, Carlo Monthermozo, Chinese coast guard forcibly pushed back Filipino fishermen from fishing in the Shoal, a traditional fishing ground for many.
“Walang nakakapasok sa lagoon, wala ring nakakapangisdang Tsino sa lagoon”, he said. However, Roque reiterrated that China doesn’t even fish in the area anymore.
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