- Several Pinoy fishermen reported that they can once again fish in the Scarborough Shoal without the interference from Chinese vessels
- Based on the UN tribunal ruling, the shoal is open for both Chinese and Filipino fishermen
- More Pinoy fishermen from Zambales, Bataan and Pangasinan are planning to fish again in the waters
According to recent reports, eight groups of Filipino fishermen from Zambales were able to fish in Scarborough Shoal on Wednesday without being intercepted by the Chinese Coast Guard.
Filipinos have been barred by China from entering the disputed waters since 2012.
“We received a radio message that some of our fellow fishermen were able to approach the shoal. The Chinese Coast Guard did not intercept their boats,” said Aniceto Achina, a boat captain.
He added that the fishermen who entered the shoal even asked him to send more supplies due to their confidence that the Chinese would not interfere with them any longer.
Due to these recent reports, several fishing groups from Bataan and Pangasinan have also decided to fish in the disputed territory.
“We have prepared our boats for trips to other fishing grounds, but since some of our fellow fishermen have started fishing at the shoal again, we will join them,” another fisherman said.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said that Filipino fishermen might be allowed to fish in the area again after several talks with representatives from China – which has refused to acknowledge the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague which says that both the Filipinos and the Chinese are allowed to fish in the shoal.
Several analysts believe that Duterte’s friendliness towards China can help the Philippines gain access to some parts of the disputed waters.
Filipino netizens applauded the efforts of the President to help the fishermen have a livelihood.
"Buti na lang nakipag kaibigan si Digong sa China. Nakapasok na rin ulit sa wakas," a netizen said.
(Fortunately, Digong was able to befriend China. We are finally able to enter the shoal again.)
However, some social media users pointed out that the Filipino fishermen should be able to fish in the shoal with or without the permission of China based on the ruling of the UN-backed tribunal.
The video below shows an incident that will thrill you!