Watch: Filipino Fishermen Now Allowed at Panatag Shoal, Not Harassed by Chinese Coast Guard (Video)
A group of Filipino fishermen said they can now do fishing at Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal). This good news comes merely a week after President Rodrigo Duterte visited China. Upon his return to the Philippines, the president said that China might allow Pinoy fishermen to fish again at the disputed part of South China Sea. Watch news video below.
According to a report at ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol, a group of fishermen from Infanta, Panganisan went home empty handed last Monday, October 24 from Panatag Shoal because they were blocked and harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard. But this Tuesday, some of the fishermen who were left in the area said they were able to fish peacefully.
“Ok naman po daw. Di naman daw po sila pinaalis.” A fishermen named Ritchie Mas told the ABS-CBN reporter. Lawrence Querubin, one of the fishermen said that they decided to stay at Scarborough Shoal because Typhoon Lawin is about to arrive that time. But when the Chinese Coast Guard saw them, he said that they did not demand them to leave.
In a separate report at Inquirer, a certain boat captain named Aniceto Achina said that eight groups of fishermen from Zambales were at Panatag Shoal this Wednesday, without being harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard. In fact, he said that the fishermen asked him to send them supplies because they were confident that they can do fishing without worry.
Nevertheless, Department of Agriculture Manny Piñol emphasized that the dispute over South China Sea was not discussed during the bilateral talks between China and Philippines. However, he said that President Duterte has probably briefly mentioned it to Chinese President Xi Jinping during their one-on-one talk, which Dutete later admitted.
“Pinag-usapan namin kung pano tayo magtulungan. We will just wait for a few more days, baka makabalik na tayo dun sa Scarborough Shoal.” President Duterte said in his speech in Davao City last Friday, October 21, when he returned home from China. Aside from the $24 billion of investment and loans, China also donated P90 million to the Typhoon Lawin victims.