‘MALAKING SAMPAL’ | China’s ‘goodwill’ over Panatag Shoal an insult – Robredo

8 months ago

JUNE 13, 2018 – Vice President Leni Robredo slammed China’s statement that it is allowing Filipinos to fish in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal “out of goodwill.” Robredo said that this is a huge insult to the Filipinos.

“Ako, ang pakiramdam ko malaking sampal ‘yun sa atin, malaking insulto kasi bakit ka kailangang humingi ng permiso sa pangingisda sa sarili mong [teritoryo], sa pag-aari ng ating bayan,” Robredo said in an interview in Tanay, Rizal.

Filipino fishermen in Panatag have expressed fear and concern towards Chinese Coast Guard harassment.

Malacañang has admitted that there were incidents in the disputed waters where the Chinese troops took the good catch of our fishermen. But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque only described those incidents as “fish thievery” since the Chinese troops had no firearms.

Robredo said that the Philippine government should fight not only for our territory but our sovereignty. She added that filing a protest does not mean picking a fight.

“Dapat palakasin ‘yung boses palakasin ‘yung protesta kung nagpa-file tayo ng mga formal protest kailangan strongest terms para marinig. Hindi naman tayo nakikipag-away pero kailangan nating ipaglaban kung ano ‘yung atin,” Robredo said.

Senate President Tito Sotto, meanwhile, said that Filipinos should not make a big deal out of China’s statement over Panatag Shoal. He added that it may have been said “out of pride.”

“Huwag na natin masyadong damdamin pa ‘yung mga ganun pananalita at baka lumaki pa ‘yon. Huwag na lang tayong masyadong mataas ang pride,” Sotto said to reporters on Tuesday.

But Roque on Monday has assured the public that the government is not taking this incident sitting down. He added that there was already an agreement between Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua regarding the issue.