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Isko: We will protect our fishers
“TELL that to the Marines. It’s ours. Ang ating mangingisda, dapat mangisda sa West Philippine Sea. It is ours historically, technically, and the world agrees with us. We own it under the Hague ruling.”
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said this on Thursday when asked about his reaction to the latest demand of China for the Philippines to remove the grounded BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal.
The Aksyon Demokratiko presidential aspirant said given the chance, he will send “all our fishermen” in the West Philippine Sea along with all the resources of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard to protect them.
Moreno also warned that he would do what Indonesian leader Joko Widodo did if warranted.
Widodo has made strong messages and taken significant action against China’s activities and claims in Natuna Sea, which lies in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.
In 2016, Widodo once held a Cabinet meeting aboard a warship off Natuna Islands, to make a point to China. His former fisheries minister has chased away, even blown up, Chinese fishing vessels. Under Widodo’s watch, Indonesia renamed waters north of Natuna Islands the North Natuna Sea, angering China. Indonesia then put up a new military base on the islands and has ramped up regular patrols in the area.
“The sauce for the gander, is sauce for the goose. All ships owned by other countries entering our sovereign jurisdiction will be apprehended. And those ships who went inside illegally within our territorial jurisdiction, gagawin kung aquarium ang ilalim ng dagat ng Pilpinias. Kaya lang barko lang nila ang lumubog,” said Moreno.
Earlier, Moreno vowed to be “fearless” in fighting for the country’s territory in the West Philippine Sea. He will also insist on the Hague ruling in 2016 where the Philippines won, after the arbitral tribunal decided that China’s nine-dash line claim which includes a big portion of the WPS has no historical and legal basis.
“We will be fearless in fighting for what is ours. We will insist on the Hague Ruling. But at the same time as being fearless, we are going to be fair with our discussion and management of the situation on both sides,” Moreno had said before fishermen in Botolan, Zambales during his “listening tour” in this province.
“We will be faithful to our farmers and fisherfolks. Ang mga mangingisda, dapat makapangisda sa loob ng ating teritoryo sa dagat. At iyon ang magaganap: undeterred, peaceful, and productive fishing opportunities under our rules. Filipino fishermen first” Moreno said.