Esperon tells Filipino fishermen: Uphold your rights in West PH Sea | Global News
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Esperon tells Filipino fishermen: Uphold your rights in West PH Sea

/ 07:05 PM April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. is encouraging Filipino fishermen to go out fishing in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea and uphold the country’s rights over the area.

“Let us enjoy what we can enjoy from the West Philippine Sea,” he said at an online forum on Wednesday (April 21), assuring that government vessels had been deployed to the area to protect Filipino fishermen.

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Reports persist about China driving away Filipino fishermen inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which analysts said was a sign of President Rodrigo Duterte’s embrace of China harming, instead of benefiting, the Philippines.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, including waters that are part of the territories of the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

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Esperon said a Batangas-based large fishing vessel is currently at Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef to catch fish.

More than 200 Chinese militia vessels had been spotted at the boomerang-shaped reef in early March. After a pushback by the Philippine government and international community, most of the Chinese vessels have left the reef, but not the Philippines’ EEZ and simply moved into other parts of the West Philippine Sea.

“We would like to encourage bigger commercial vessels to come in especially as we have more deployments of government assets,” Esperon said.

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TAGS: China incursion, Chinese militia, Filipino fishermen, Hermogenes Esperon, national security, West Philippine Sea
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