Secretary Harry Roque with three of the fishermen who had encounters with the Chinese coast guard
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang called the incidents in Scarborough Shoal between Filipino fishermen and some Chinese coast guard, not a barter trade but a form of “fish thievery.”
Filipino fishermen reported that some members of the Chinese Coast Guard have been taking the best of their catch in exchange for noodles and drinking water.
“So for lack of a better word, let’s call it ‘pangongotong’ in Tagalog, which is fish thievery. I have never really addressed it as a barter,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque.
Malacañang in previous interviews said the incident has already been reported to China, and which the latter assured is being investigated.
For the local government of Masinloc, Zambales, fishermen seem to pay China a toll-fee for fishing in Panatag Shoal which belongs to the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.
“Iyon nga parang may toll-fee sa gitna ng karagatan. Ang mga Masinlokenyos po ay mga mababait na tao iyan. Ayaw po nila ng gulo. Ayaw nila makiaway kaya okay na lang na magbigay sila kaysa bawalan po sila,” said Mayor Arsenia Lim of Masinloc, Zambales.
Following the incident, the local government of Masinloc is appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to make sure Filipino fishermen can still fish freely and safely in Panatag Shoal.
Meanwhile, Malacañang stands firm that the Philippines has the sovereign rights over Scarborough Shoal and that the territory is not owned by China.
This is in reaction to the statement of the Chinese Foreign Ministry that they let Filipino fishermen fish in the area out of goodwill.
Asked if the Philippines concede fishing rights in Scarborough shoal, Roque firmly said, “We do not concede.” – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo
Aussie nun Patricia Fox ‘not yet off the hook’ – Malacañang
Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang maintained on Tuesday, June 19, that Australian missionary nun, Patricia Fox could still face deportation.
This is despite the justice department’s nullification of the order that forfeited her visa.
“So uulitin ko po she is not off the hook. Ongoing po ang deportation proceedings. Antayin po natin ang decision ng CID (Commission on Immigration and Deportation) on whether or not sumapi sa pulitika itong si Sister Fox,” Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said.
(I will repeat: she is not off the hook. Deportation proceedings are ongoing. Let us wait for the decision of the CID on whether or not Sister Fox participated in political activities.)
Roque said Fox’s deportation will push through if deportation proceedings conclude that she indeed joined political activities in the country which is a violation of Bureau of Immigration (BI) regulations. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue
PH supports US-DPRK peacekeeping mechanism bid
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang congratulated U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un for successfully holding their first summit in Singapore.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said this development “has underscored in the strongest terms the value of diplomacy and peaceful dialogue, augurs well for the peace, security, and stability in the region and the world.”
And though this event has been written in the history, Roque noted, that this is just the beginning of the real hard work.
Roque added that “the Philippines is ready and willing to lend its support toward bringing it to fruition.” — Rosalie Coz
Duterte raises harassment of PH fishermen with Chinese ambassador
President Duterte speaks with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua during the Independence Day celebration at the Aguinaldo Shrine on June 12. (Image grabbed from RVTM video)
President Rodrigo Duterte, for the first time since he assumed the presidency, led on June 12 the celebration of the proclamation Philippine independence.
Upon his arrival at the Aguinaldo Shrine, he was welcomed by members of the Diplomatic Corps including Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua.
The Chinese ambassador said President Duterte personally shared with him the concerns of Filipino fishermen regarding Chinese coast guard personnel who forcibly take their catch at Scarborough Shoal.
The Chinese official assured that investigation will be conducted and vowed to impose appropriate disciplinary action against the coastguards if proven guilty of misconduct. He also confirmed that Chinese coast guards are not allowed to confiscate the catch of Filipino fishermen.
Zhao reiterated that relations between Philippines and China remain friendly. — Rosalie Coz