Opposition bets were not barred from Scarborough – Coast Guard
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) belied on Tuesday the claim of opposition candidates that the government stopped them from going to Scarborough Shoal.
“Wala kaming pinagbabawalan sa pagpunta sa Scarborough,” PCG spokesperson Captain Armando Balilo told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
Balilo said the Coast Guard did not receive any advisory from opposition candidates that they intended to visit the shoal.
“Alam ko walang nagpaalam sa amin na aalis. Papayagan naman kung nagsabi sila. Walang pagbabawal doon. Hindi kailangan ng permit doon,” he said.
Opposition senatorial candidates earlier claimed their planned visit to the Scarborough Shoal was barred by the PCG. They said the Coast Guard “refused to give the boat owners permit if there is recording equipment in the rented boat, and warned that the equipment would be confiscated.”
Balilo said people who wish to go to the shoal were only asked to inform the agency so that they could be accounted for and monitored.
“Ang bilin lang namin ay dumaan sa Coast Guard para sabihan yung mga fishermen at ang Coast Guard na aalis kami at meron kaming ganitong kasama. Ang purpose lang naman ay para mamonitor namin, kung magkaroon ng aksidente, alam namin kung sinu sino ang maa-account namin,” he added.
Balilo clarified that the PCG is only barring people to sail when the sea condition is rough due to inclement weather.
“Walang reason para pagbawalan. Walang sama ng panahon. Kung masama ang panahon, pagbabawalan talaga namin pero wala eh,” he said.
Malacañang earlier dismissed the opposition bets’ plan as a “publicity stunt.” /cbb
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