Filipinos to resume fishing in Panatag Shoal

Filipino Fishermen Defiant Amid China’s Threats

Despite China’s recent authorization of its coast guard to detain individuals or vessels found trespassing in what it deems as its territorial waters for up to 60 days, Filipino fisherfolk are refusing to back down. The New Masinloc Fishermen’s Association president, Leonardo Cuaresma, affirmed in a recent radio interview that Panatag Shoal is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Cuaresma emphasized that the Filipino fishermen are not violating any laws by fishing in Panatag Shoal and called for increased presence of the Philippine Coast Guard in the area. He also urged the government to utilize its resources and allied countries to conduct joint maritime patrols to demonstrate strength and deter Chinese harassment.

Meanwhile, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakayang Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), a fishers group, remains vigilant in the West Philippine Sea. The group’s provincial director, Joey Marabe, declared that Filipino fishers do not recognize China’s order to arrest those they consider foreigners in disputed waters usurped by China.

In response to China’s actions, President Marcos denounced the detention directive as “unacceptable” and assured that measures will be taken to protect Filipino citizens. Senator Francis Tolentino highlighted that the Philippines can file cases against China at the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea or the International Court of Justice for detaining foreigners in disputed areas.

Addressing the issue of wiretapping involving Chinese and Philippine officials, President Marcos stated that the government is investigating the matter. He emphasized the importance of cybersecurity and the need for experts to ensure national security. Additionally, regarding accusations against Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, Marcos stressed the importance of allowing the executive and legislative branches to conduct their investigations.

By remaining steadfast in their resolve, Filipino fisherfolk are continuing to assert their rights in the face of China’s threats and harassment.

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