Press Release
November 2, 2016


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.

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