Duterte: China can fish in Philippines’ EEZ
Updated @ 10:08 p.m., June 26, 2019, to include more quotes
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he was allowing China to fish in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“We cannot drive them away because they have insisted that it’s theirs,” the President said during the 122nd founding anniversary of the Presidential Security Group at Malacañang Park.
He said he had an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow China to fish in the Philippine EEZ after Beijing granted Filipino fishermen access to Scarborough Shoal.
Scarborough is a traditional fishing ground within the Philippines’ EEZ that Beijing seized after a two-month standoff with the Philippine Navy in 2012.
“Would you allow the fisherman to fish? Of course. That was our agreement,” the President said, recalling his talk with Xi.
China granted Philippines access to Scarborough in 2016 after Duterte fostered warmer ties with Xi.
Beijing has sweeping claims in almost all of the South China Sea.
The 22 Filipino fishermen whose boat was rammed by a Chinese trawler at Recto Bank on the night of June 9 have urged President Duterte to declare the area an exclusive fishing ground for Filipinos.
“Ngayon, sabi nila, you have to ban China. I-prohibit mo. Kung i-prohibit ko, how do I enforce my desire? Takot nga ang America, ayaw ngang mag-confront tapos ako pa ang ipusta nila. Gusto talaga nilang mapasubo ako,” the President said.
“Anything that is, that would force anybody to act contrary to his will is always offensive. As a matter of fact sa law, that is what’s called compelling anybody — is a crime. Eh gusto nila i-prohibit ko. Why will I go there and prohibit them? Now the only way to stop them is talagang gamitan ko ng ngipin ‘yan,” he added.
China has repeatedly claimed it has historical rights in 90 percent of the South China Sea, which includes parts of the Philippines’ EEZ.
The EEZ boundary is set at 200 nautical miles from the Philippine coastline.
“Ang economic zone, wala tayong sovereignty. No country in the world has a sovereignty sa kanyang economic zone. It is not a question of sovereignty,” he said.
The President said it would result in war if he would ban China from fishing in the West Philippine Sea.
“My God, I am not willing to sacrifice any soldier or policeman to die na walang kalaban-laban,” he said, citing that China has missiles that could reach Manila in seven minutes.
“Ang hawak nila kwitis pero ang warhead is atomic bomb. Ang ating hawak, kwitis pero parang pampista lang ‘yan. Hindi ‘yun pang-away. Alam naman ninyo, talo talaga tayo by the sheer might,” he added.
Duterte dares US, UK, France
“Tapos gusto nila ipasubo, magpunta ako doon to insist on my order to stop. Kung lumaban ‘yan? Magpadala ka doon ng any symbolic — M60 o bazooka. Magpadala ka ng barko doon na may armas, ano kayang mangyayari?” he said.
“Ito ang hamon ko, ang hamon ko sa America, Britain, France, mag-assemble tayo dito sa Palawan tapos diretso na tayo doon sa Spratly. Agawin na natin kung maagaw natin. Ah kung maubos tayo lahat… Sabihin nila, ‘Duterte is not protecting the interest of the Fili… “ You’re a g**** s***. You want me to put the lives of 110 million Filipino by going into trouble? Gusto mo ipusta mo ‘yang…“ he added.
He reiterated he was not afraid of China.
“Kaya sabi ko, mabuti’t — para maintindihan ninyo ‘yung galit ko. Hindi ako sa hindi natatakot. Kung gusto nila, sabi ko nga, mag-imbita sila kay hindi naman talaga natin kaya ‘yang — p** karami ng armas diyan ngayon. Sabay-sabay kami,” he said.
“Ako, si [US President Donald] Trump, diyan sa deck. Teleskopyo, malapit na tayo. ‘Pag sumabog tayong apat, ‘di okay lang. Tapos na ang… It’s not the time to go to war. Eh kasi hindi… Reality, that’s geopolitics,” he added.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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