Author Topic: Duterte says he told the Chinese: Scarborough is ours  (Read 15545 times)


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Re: Duterte says he told the Chinese: Scarborough is ours
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2018, 03:36:21 PM »

JUST IN: Malacañang says it will not file a case against China on the destroyed reefs in Scarborough Shoal, saying the issue can be discussed through the PH-China bilateral consultation mechanism. | via @NCorralesINQ on Twitter

This mechanism is now being put to the test

Philippines-China Bilateral Consultation Mechanism Focuses on Cooperation and Collaboration while Having Frank and Candid Discussions on Issues where the Philippines and China Disagree

14 February 2018 MANILA – Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano today praised the conclusion of the 2nd meeting of the bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea between Philippine and Chinese delegations as an important step towards resolving ongoing territorial disputes in a manner consistent with the spirit of friendship.

“This meeting has become an important step towards resolving ongoing disputes on territory, sovereignty, and sovereignty rights in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea, however, this bilateral consultation mechanism is also here to strengthen the momentum of cooperation in matters of common interest such as marine environmental protection, coordination between Coast Guards, and the protection of our fishermen, as well the possibility of joint exploration,” Secretary Cayetano said in a statement.

Delegations from the Philippines and China met on 13 February 2018 for the 2nd Meeting of the Philippines-China Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea (BCM).  Both sides took the opportunity to highlight the exponential improvement in bilateral relations and the many opportunities for growth in various areas of cooperation.

The delegations, led by DFA Undersecretary Enrique A. Manalo and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, also discussed ways to manage and prevent incidents at sea, promote dialogue and cooperation on maritime issues, and enhance mutual trust and confidence.

The Philippine side brought up our territorial claims and sovereignty rights issues, and discussed how to manage and prevent incidents on the ground.  Both sides expressed their countries’ respective positions on the ongoing territorial disputes. While there are points of disagreement, both delegations are in agreement that the best way forward is to cooperate and properly manage issues of mutual concern and preserve security and stability in the region.

Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, head of the Chinese delegation, also called on Secretary Cayetano today before flying back to Beijing

Secretary Cayetano said that the BCM serves as a venue for the Philippines and China to manage their differences amicably, and to show the world how disputes can be handled in a peaceful manner, and how cooperation and collaboration can benefit the two countries’ peoples despite a complicated and difficult dispute.

"The Duterte Administration is unwavering in its commitment to protect our country’s territorial claims and maritime entitlements. Let me also say that we are also of the position that ongoing territorial disputes should be resolved in a manner consistent with the spirit of good neighborly relations and the 1982 UNCLOS," said the Secretary.

Pursuant to the strategy of the Duterte administration of “friends to all and enemies to none”, the Secretary said the Philippines engages all countries whether claimant or non-claimant, whether we have a dispute with them or not, and this has led to much mutual trust and confidence and translated into gains in the disputed areas as well as in other areas of cooperation and collaboration.

To mention some positive developments in the South China Sea:

There is access of our fishermen within the areas in dispute.
There are measures in place for all parties to protect the environment and marine ecosystem in the South China Sea.
There is a commitment by China and all parties not to build on uninhabited features in accordance with the Declaration of Conduct on the South China Sea.
"Let me note that our fishermen are back exercising their livelihood in Scarborough Shoal, and overall, the situation in the greater South China Sea has become more stable than in past years," according to Secretary Cayetano.

These warm and friendly relations likewise resulted in tremendous economic benefits for the country, with China lifting the ban on the import of bananas from the Philippines, together with, to date, over $24 Billion worth of assistance, investment, pledges, commercial loans from China, with focus on infrastructure development under the “Build Build Build” program and further increasing economic development in the Philippines.

Secretary Cayetano further stressed that there are ongoing talks and continuous diplomatic actions being undertaken to protect the interests of the Philippines in the South China Sea. "Just because we are not in an open shouting match with China, or arguing in public, doesn’t mean that the issues aren’t being dealt with decisively. On the contrary, we are not only exerting efforts but also getting things done," said the Philippines' top diplomat. END

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Re: Duterte says he told the Chinese: Scarborough is ours
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2018, 11:03:58 PM »
Ultimately, there is a cost in terms of people's livelihoods.

Zambales gov vows livelihood aid to affected fisherfolks

By Mahatma Datu June 14, 2018, 5:54 pm

IBA, Zambales -- Governor Amor Deloso on Thursday issued assurances provide alternative sources of livelihood to fishermen from the province, who are affected by the Scarborough Shoal issue.

The governor made the assurance as he attended a dialogue and consultative forum organized by the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) of the Philippine Army, along with the provincial government of Zambales and other government agencies, at the People's Park here.

Deloso said the exchange of ideas in the forum is good as all concerned can work together for a common good.

“Fishing is an important livelihood in Zambales and I have refused big industries along the coastline of the province to avoid destroying the livelihood of the fisherfolks,” he said.

Deloso said the provincial government will continue supporting the livelihood needs of the affected fishermen through the Provincial Fisheries Office, which assists them in generating alternative sources of income through projects.

Fishermen from this province appeared divided on reports of Chinese Coast Guards taking their catch at Scarborough Shoal in exchange for bottle of water, cigarettes or beer.

During the forum, fishermen narrated how the Chinese military manning Bajo de Masinloc took portions of their catch.

They asked the government to put a stop to the practice as it was depriving them of their hard-earned catch.

Roseller Latagen, 50, in an interview, said Chinese Coast Guard members took as much as PHP3,000 worth of their fish catch in exchange for two small bottles of mineral water.

Latagen claimed they are only allowed to fish near Scarborough Shoal for two to three months in a year while Chinese fishermen, who even destroy corals, are allowed to fish year round.

"What we were doing was just to go fishing near where we can only catch a few kilos just enough to feed (our) family," he said.

Angelico Pilon, a 72-year-old fisherman from Masinloc town, echoed Latagen's comment.

Pilon expressed hope the government can help them so they can be allowed inside the shoal to enable them to get bigger catch and also provide a refuge for fishermen during storms.

But there are also some fishermen who said the Chinese Coast Guard members are nice, kind and helpful.

Floro Delegencia, another fisherman from Masinloc, narrated how one time they went to Scarborough Shoal and Chinese Coast Guard members came on their boat and brought with them bottles of beer and cigarettes.

Commodore Nichols Driz, commander of the Naval Forces North Luzon (NFNL) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said the fishermen's complaints and suggestions will give the government an idea on how to best improve their services for the betterment of the plight of fishermen, especially those near Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal.

He said closer interaction among the fishermen and other concerned government agencies like the Philippine Navy, the Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and local government units (LGUs) involved would help a lot in creating appropriate actions.

Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on Wednesday assured that his government was investigating concerns raised by Filipino fishermen that the Chinese Coast Guard might forcibly take their catch the next time they fish at the disputed Scarborough Shoal.

Zhao assured there would be disciplinary action in accordance with their own regulations. (PNA)

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Re: Duterte says he told the Chinese: Scarborough is ours
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2018, 02:36:57 PM »

PH aiming for permanent fishing agreement in Scarborough Shoal

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora June 15, 2018, 11:10 am

MANILA -- Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said the Philippines is aiming for a permanent fishing agreement in Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc, which is established as a traditional fishing ground for Filipinos, Chinese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese by an arbitral ruling.

But by doing so, Cayetano said that all claimants must undergo series of discussions first given that the issue involved is territorial in nature.

Following a 2012 standoff between Chinese and Philippine vessels in Scarborough Shoal, fishermen were only able to operate back in the area last 2016 after President Rodrigo R. Duterte engaged Beijing in talks.

With this, the current "tentative agreement" in place becomes essential until claimants, who refuse to yield from their positions, find a common ground for an accord, Cayetano said.

"We have a tentative fishing agreement, (but) there won't be a (permanent) fishing agreement if all sides will insist whose the area is, but this does not mean we'll concede our rights there," he told reporters in mixed Filipino.

He assured the government will work towards a permanent agreement in the area, although he admitted this may take a long time.

Assurances made

The government was on the receiving end of criticisms after reports of alleged harassment in Bajo de Masinloc surfaced last week, when a video caught the Chinese Coast Guard filching fish from Filipino fishermen.

Responding to this, Cayetano said the Philippine government too wants to change the status quo if there are incidents of Filipino fishermen having unpleasant encounters with the Chinese.

"China has committed through their ambassador that they will apply the law and the agreement and they will be harsh to those magva-violate," he added.

Meanwhile, Cayetano did not pick on the statement of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs who said Beijing was allowing Filipino fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal "out of goodwill."

"Vietnam and Malaysia won't concede from their position, the Philippines and China too, that's why they had to answer it that way because they never agreed to
give up their position at this point in time," he said, referring to Beijing.

Cayetano had stressed that both Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping recognized it is difficult for all claimant countries to withdraw from their positions.

"The style in diplomacy is for both sides to lay down their positions, and that's the longest part because no one budges from that, that's why there is a tentative (agreement) first," he said.

"From (that) stand, the second part is where each one is willing to give a little. That is where we are now and that process can take a week or a hundred years. That is the reality when your dispute is territorial in nature." (PNA)