Masinloc mayor says fishermen not blocked from fishing in Scarborough Shoal
MANILA, Philippines — Fishermen are not blocked from fishing in the contested Scarborough Shoal, Mayor Arsenia Lim of Masinloc, Zambales said.
In an online Palace briefing, Lim said fishermen in her town continue to fish in the area contrary to a statement by the fisherfolk group Bigkis ng Mangingisda’s that Chinese vessels continue to block fishers from fishing in the area.
“‘Yan po ay walang katotohanan,” said Lim, who was a guest in Malacañang’s regular press briefing, when asked to comment on such reports.
(There is no truth to that.)
“Sila po ay lumalampas pa doon sa Scarborough at pagpapatunay na marami pong isda ngayon, kung gusto niyo po, bisitahin niyo po ang Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough). Marami pong isda na sariwa ngayon sa aming bayan. Makikita niyo po na wala naman pong namemerwisyo at humaharang sila sa ngayon,” she added.
(They even go beyond Scarborough and there is a lot of fish caught right now, if you want, you may visit Bajo de Masinloc. There are many catches right now in our town. You will see that there is no one barring them as of now.)
Lim claimed the issue only surfaced as the elections draw near.
“Ngayon, mageeleksyon nanaman, nirerefresh lang nila yung dating issue na 2018 pa po yan. Sana naman po wag naman po silang manira. Dahil ang suporta po ng national government ay binibigay po sa mga mangingisda dito sa aming lugar,” Lim said.
(Now that the elections are coming, they are bringing back an old issue from 2018. I just wish they won’t defame us because the national government is really giving its support to the fishermen here in our town.)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque himself also disputed claims that Filipino fishermen are being prevented by Chinese vessels from fishing in parts of the West Philippine Sea.
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