Roque: Go to Scarborough? No need to dare me, I’ll go there myself
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Thursday said there is no need to dare him to go to Scarborough Shoal (Panatag or Bajo de Masinloc to locals) because he intends to visit the shoal before President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term.
This was how Roque answered Filipino fishermen who dared him to join them in a trip to the shoal so he could personally see how they were being barred from entering the fishing ground.
“Hindi ko po kinakailangan ang kahit sino na humamon. Matagal ko na pong gustong pumunta ron,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(I don’t need anyone to challenge me. I’ve been wanting to go there for so long.)
“Can I ask undersecretary to arrange our trip to Bajo de Masinloc and Kalayaan? Matagal ko na po gustong makarating dyan. Bago matapos ang termino ni Presidente, sana magkaroon po ng katuparan. Pero pupunta ako dyan dahil gusto ko pumunta, hindi dahil meron po naghahamon na kahit sino,” he added.
(Can I ask the undersecretary to arrange our trip to Bajo de Masinloc and Kalayaan? I’ve been wanting to go there for so long. Before the President’s term ends, I hope this will happen. I will go there because I want to, not because I’m being challenged by whoever.)
Roque insists that Filipino fishermen are not being blocked from fishing in Scarborough Shoal. He showed photos taken by the Philippine Coast Guard to deny the fishermen’s claim.
“Nakita po natin ang larawan ng coast guard na kinuha kahapon lamang. So sa tingin ko naman po, malinaw na malinaw, nakapangingisda po ang ating mga kababayan at nandoon po ang Philippine Coast Guard kung merong aberya sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.
(We saw the photos the coast guard took just yesterday. I think it’s clear that our fishermen can continue their livelihoods. Our Philippine Coast Guard is there if there would be any trouble.)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.