MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday called “little progress” the incident in which a Chinese navy vessel followed a civilian Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) patrol vessel. .
His comments followed a Philippine Coast Guard report on the incident west of Palawan.
“Yung’s latest report was written in the language. The Hindi contains data that contains useful information. So there is a bit of progress there,” the president observed.
(The latest report is that it was just tracked. Not like it used to be when it got stuck. So there’s little progress there.)
He made the remarks in an ambush interview at the Ministry of Agriculture.
Marcos gave weight to the BFAR projection that more fish would be caught in the region due to open communications with China.
“It’s because we continue to talk with the Chinese government, with the president [Xi Jinping] in every way,” he said.
“The inuna ko talaga nung kami is nagkita, sinabi ko talaga is ‘Unahin lang natin yung fisheries. Huwag na natin pag-usapan yung teritoryo dahil hindi naman tayo makakapag-decide habang nandito tayo,” he had pointed out to the Chinese leader.
(That’s what I first put forward when we met. I said to him, ‘Let’s give priority to fishing. Let’s not talk about the territory because we know we can’t decide while we’re here.’)
Marcos said what is important to him is that there is a constant exchange between the two countries involved in a maritime dispute.
“We are moving slowly because the key to this was improving communication between the Philippine government and the Chinese government,” he said.
Pag-asa is the second largest island of what are known as the Spratly Islands or simply Spratlys.
It lies about 500 kilometers west of the city of Puerto Princesa.
Net progress, hope: the BFAR launches a project to help WPS fishermen
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