PH pooh-poohs China ban, says PCG will protect Filipino fishers
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino fisherfolk could still fish in the country’s traditional fishing grounds, Malacañang said Thursday as it assured them of protection from the Philippine Coast Guard after China imposed a fishing ban in the South China Sea.
“Wala pong extraterritorial application ang batas ng mga dayuhang bansa,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.
(Laws from other countries have no extraterritorial application.)
“So dyan lang po kayo sa ating mga traditional na fishing grounds at nandyan naman po ang ating coast guard para pangalagaan din po ang interes ng ating mga mangingisda,” he added.
(So just stay there in our traditional fishing grounds since our coast guard is there to ensure the fishermen’s interests.)
The Philippines protested China’s fishing ban in the South China Sea, saying it encroaches on its exclusive economic zone.
“The Philippines does not recognize China’s unilateral imposition of a fishing moratorium in the South China Sea for the period 01 May to 16 August 2021,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement on Tuesday.
It said China’s annual fishing moratorium went beyond its “legitimate maritime entitlements” under UNCLOS, adding that it was “unlawful under international law.”
“China cannot legally impose nor legally enforce such a moratorium in the West Philippine Sea,” it added.
China’s fishing ban extends to “waters north of 12 degrees north latitude” in the South China Sea, according to DFA.
In these waters, the Philippines has sovereignty and jurisdiction, the DFA said.
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