Kahit mukhang hindi naman aalis ang China sa Panatag Shoal, kinalulugod natin ang balita na mula pa noong October 16 ay nakakapaglayag na rito ang ating mangingisda nang hindi hinaharas ng mga barkong galing China.

Photo source: news.abs-cbn.com
Photo source: news.abs-cbn.com

Ayon sa mga balita, may apat na barko ang Chinese Coast Guard at wala nang mga barko ng Chinese Navy roon. May mga Chinese ships na sa lugar mula pa 2012.

Kahit hindi binibitiwan ng magkabilang panig ang kanilang sovereignty claims dito, masaya rin tayo na na-demilitarize ang lugar, at mukhang mas mabuti na ang relasyon ng Pilipinas at China.

Alam nating nasa Exclusive Economic Zone natin, o hanggang 370 kilometers mula sa pampang, ang Panatag Shoal na 230 kilometers mula sa Zambales.

Ayon sa United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, na pinagtibay ng international arbitral tribunal noong July, meron tayong eksklusibong karapatang mangisda rito.

Kailangang pangalagaan natin ang mga biyayang dagat. Kailangang pangalagaan ang mangingisda nating sinusugal ang buhay para makapaghanapbuhay, para magkapagbigay ng mga isda, alimango, sugpo, at kung anu-anong yamang dagat sa ating hapag-kainan. Ang tungkuling ito ay para sa lahat: sa mga Chino at mga Pilipino.

Sana maipatupad ang ating panukalang-batas na magkaroon ng Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources para mapangalagaan ang mga yamang dagat at mangingisda natin.

**
Basahin sa English

STATEMENT OF SENATOR FRANCIS PANGILINAN ON FISHING IN PANATAG SHOAL

Even if China won’t leave Panatag Shoal, we are glad about the news that since October 16, our fisher folk have been able to go there without being harassed by Chinese ships.

According to news reports, there are four Chinese Coast Guard ships and no Chinese Navy ship in the area. Chinese ships have been there since 2012.

Even if neither parties have dropped their sovereignty claims on the shoals, we are happy that the place has been de-militarized and the relationship between Philippines and China seems better.

We know that the the Panatag Shoal, which is about 230 kilometers from Zambales, is within our Exclusive Economic Zone, or 370 kilometers from the shore.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which the international arbitral tribunal in July upheld, we have the exclusive rights to fish there.

We need to care for the sea’s offerings. We need to care for fishers who risk their lives to earn a living and give us fish, crabs, lobsters, and other sea wealth for our dinner table. This is everyone’s duty, the Chinese’s and the Filipinos’.

We hope our bill to establish a Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources becomes a reality so that our treasures from the sea and our fisher folk are cared for.