No harassment? Expert says Chinese, Filipino fishermen ‘barter’ in high seas
A development expert supported Malacañang’s claim that what happened between the Chinese coast guard and the Filipino fishermen in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal was actually a form of “barter.”
George Siy, head of the Integrated Development Studies Institute, said on Wednesday that the public should not make an issue out of the video of members of the Chinese coast guard seen seizing part of the catch of Filipino fishermen.
According to Siy, what happened between the two camps was “very normal.”
“‘Yang mga ganyang bagay (These kinds of things) happen all the time, even here (in the country),” said Siy, who is chair emeritus of the Anvil Business Club, an organization established for next-generation Filipino-Chinese businessmen.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque also said earlier that similar incidents happen often in the coasts of the Philippines.
He explained in Filipino that Chinese nationals often give the Filipino fishermen noodles, cigarettes, and water, in exchange for fish.
Filipino fishermen, however, believe that China still has control over the disputed area.
“Sa tingin ko ngayon, Tsina pa rin (I think China has still control of the area),” Rommel Cejuela, a fisherman from Masinloc, Zambales, said. /ee
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