Duterte, Xi to plug holes in fishing deal? BEFORE the Duterte-Xi “verbal” fishing deal gets the Philippine president into trouble with the Constitution, he will have a chance to plug the loopholes in the agreement when he meets China’s paramount leader in Beijing late this month. The deal that allows Chinese fleets to fish in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone has been widely criticized, although (or because) the terms of the agreement supposedly forged in 2016 have not been disclosed despite its negative impact on the country’s food security. As we write this (Wednesday noon), we have not heard Malacañang announce the agenda of Duterte’s meeting with China’s Xi Jinping, their fifth since he became president in 2016 and the second this year. The first news floats said the President wanted to watch the Philippine team play in the FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basketball) games that reel off … [Read more...] about Duterte, Xi to plug holes in fishing deal?
Fishing boat gets hit
BANGKOK – President Duterte has accepted the offer of China to jointly investigate with Philippine authorities the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel near Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea last June 9. “The Palace wishes to inform our people that President Duterte welcomes and accepts the offer of the Chinese government to conduct a joint investigation to determine what really transpired in Recto Bank and find a satisfactory closure to this episode,” chief presidential legal adviser and spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday. After agreeing to China’s offer, Duterte ordered the creation of a joint investigating committee to be composed of one representative each from Manila and Beijing, and another from a neutral country. “To this end, the President wants the creation of a joint investigating committee that shall be composed of three groups of highly qualified and competent individuals, with Philippines and China having one … [Read more...] about Duterte OKs joint probe on fish boat sinking
MANILA, Philippines — As groans of disbelief greeted China’s version of the Recto Bank incident, the Philippines has formally called the attention of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) to the Filipino fishermen’s being “callously abandoned to the elements on the rough seas” by Chinese mariners who rammed and sank their vessel last week. Deputy permanent representative to the IMO Senen Mangalile reported the incident at the 101st session of the IMO maritime safety committee in London on Friday. Mangalile called on UN member-states to put a premium on protecting life at sea in cases of maritime distress, noting the Filipinos’ ordeal after a Chinese vessel rammed and sank their boat at midnight of June 9. Vietnamese fishermen rescued the Filipinos hours after the incident, which the Chinese claimed was unintentional. “It is the obligation of every responsible member-state of the UN and the IMO to implement these … [Read more...] about Boat sinking reported to IMO
Much loose talk over Phl boat sinking in WPS No doubt it is a serious matter that should be urgently and carefully resolved, through the appropriate international mechanisms and provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS), between the governments of the Philippines and China. The matter pertains to the sinking of a Philippine vessel around midnight on June 9, initially reported to be the result of a “collision” between it and a suspected Chinese vessel. The Filipino fishing boat was then anchored near Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea. It sank but the Chinese vessel sailed away, abandoning the 22 Filipino crew in their state of distress. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was the first administration official to issue a public statement on the incident. He condemned the “cowardly action” of the Chinese fishing vessel and its crew, and called for an investigation and diplomatic action. … [Read more...] about Much loose talk over Phl boat sinking in WPS
Indonesia’s decision to sink a dozen fishing boats on Saturday is a reminder for Asean that illegal fishing is a serious region problem that requires concrete solutions, not more meetings and lip service. Theft from the South China Sea and our region’s other waters is nothing new. Asean members have long been at loggerheads over illegal fishing in their special economic zones or territorial waters. Our own country has faced repeated incursions from Vietnamese trawlers in the Gulf of Thailand, while Thai crews are frequently caught fishing illicitly in Indonesian waters. In the latest incident, Indonesia has accused Vietnam’s coastguard of endangering a crew’s life by ramming one of its naval boats. Jakarta summoned the Vietnamese envoy and warned him that the aggressive action violated the spirit of international law and Asean friendship. Indonesia has long borne the brunt of this regional problem thanks to its rich marine resources spread … [Read more...] about Peace not on horizon in Asean’s fishing wars