Pinoy fisher folks no longer harassed in Scarborough Shoal

    MANILA, Philippines - Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement that Filipinos may soon fish in Scarborough Shoal, several Pinoy fishermen claimed that they are no longer harassed nor interfered when fishing in the disputed area since Tuesday, October 25.

    Pinoy fisher folks no longer harassed in Scarborough Shoal
    In his speech before victims of typhoon “Lawin” last week, the firebrand leader said he already had talks with Chinese authorities regarding Filipinos’ fishing rights in the shoal, which is rich in marine life.

    “Pinag-usapan namin paano tayo magtutulungan. We will just wait for a few more days, baka makabalik na tayo doon sa Scarborough shoal, sa pangingisda ng ating mga kababayan,” Duterte said.

    After months-long stand-off between the Philippines and China, the latter began building up its presence at shoal in 2012. Since then fishermen were unable to fish at the shoal, locally known Panatag shoal.

    Fishermen believe that they can haul as much as 10,000 tons of fish and seafood in the area during expeditions. They also noted that the shoal serves as a safe shelter during storms.

    Speaking to CNN Philippines, fisherman Esterlito Laranjo said: ”Pag may bagyo, malakas, masamang panahon, pag tumatago kami doon, safety kami, hindi kami nangangambang kasi mag-abang yung China sa amin.

    Despite the unanimous ruling of an an international panel of judges at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in favor of the Philippines in the dispute over South China Sea last July. The ruling allowed all claimants to fish at the shoal but China refused to accept its decision and continued barring Filipino fishermen from entering the shoal.

    According to several, Filipino fisherfolks, Chinese coastguard ships would block their paths or bombard them with water canons.

    Kabayan Party List representative Harry Roque believes that China and the Philippines would come up with a solid agreement on the issue by December.

    Watch the video report.

    --Mini, The Summit Express

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