Roque tells reporter to call Palace to clarify report on Filipino fishermen being barred to fish by Chinese vessels
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday asked a reporter to call Malacañang to discuss her report on Filipino fishermen allegedly barred by Chinese ships from fishing in the Scarborough Shoal.
During Wednesday’s Palace briefing, Roque had as guests Masinloc Mayor Arsenia Lim, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo and ship owners where they denied that Chinese vessels are preventing local fisherfolk from fishing in the Scarborough Shoal.
Roque then told BBC reporter Virma Rivera to call during the briefing so that she herself could clarify the report with government officials and ship owners.
“Virma, tumawag ka nang matanong mo naman si Mayor, iyong mga may-ari ng lantsa at saka ang PCG kasi tinawag iyong report ninyo ng isang may-ari ng lantsa na tsismis ‘no. In fairness to you, tumawag ka ngayon, I will link you up with them para naman malinawan kung ano iyang report mo,” he said.
(Virma, you should call now so that you could ask the mayor, the ship owners, and the PGC because they called your report hearsay. In fairness to you, you should call now. I will link you up with them so your report could be clarified.)
“If you care to call us, Virma Rivera, please do so. We will link you up with them nang malaman natin kung sino talaga ang nagsasabi ng katotohanan. Okay?” he added.
(If you care to call us, Virma Rivera, please do so. We will link you up with them so that we would know who is really telling the truth. Okay?)
The Palace spokesman then broadcasted a cellphone number where the reporter could get in touch with them.
Masinloc Mayor Lim said fishermen in her town continue to fish in the Scarborough Shoal, claiming the issue only resurfaced because elections are drawing near.
For his part, Balilo said PCG has yet to receive reports of Chinese forces barring local fishermen to fish in the area.
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