- President Rodrigo Duterte said that the fishing rights of Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal will depend on Chinese authorities
- The issue was said to be one of the discussions of Duterte with China during his state-visit
- Since it was a private talk, Duterte did not elaborate further on the issue
President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that the issue on the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China and the issue on fishing rights of Filipino fishermen were among the issues brought up during his state-visit to China last week.
Despite the victory of the Philippines in the ruling of the UN tribunal, Duterte seemed to be letting the Chinese authorities take control over the disputed territories.
“Yes of course we did. ...leave it to the Chinese authorities, what they will do in the next few days from now,” the President said.
The President said that he raised the issue during his private talks with China which is why he did not elaborate further on the matter.
“I leave it to them to, it’s one of the things I said that in the private talks which I cannot, but tingnan natin (let us see). Let us see what develops in the days to come,” Duterte explained.
Moreover, Duterte said that both the Philippines and China “agreed to continue discussions on confidence-building measures, including a bilateral consultation mechanism to discuss immediate issue of concern in South China Sea.”
The international panel of judged at the Permanent Court of Arbitration unanimously ruled in favor of the Philippines and invalidated the claims of China over the territories.
Before the ruling of the court, it was reported that Filipino fishermen were stripped of their fishing rights by Chinese vessels. Aside from stopping them from fishing, they also suffered from the Chinese.
A Filipino fisherman named Esterlito Laranjo narrated, “Pag may bagyo, malakas, masamang panahon, pag tumatago kami doon, safety kami, hindi kami nangangambang kasi mag-abang yung China sa amin. Bubulabugin kami tapos binobomba pa ng tubig.”
(When there is a strong typhoon, the weather is bad and we would stay there because we were safe, But now, the Chinese are waiting for us. They will harass us and even hit us with water cannons.)