Marcos speaks up on China’s barrier: ‘We are not looking for trouble’
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday stressed his commitment to continue to protect the Philippine territories following China’s installation of floating barriers in the West Philippine Sea.
Marcos finally broke his silence about the issue on the floating barrier installed by Chinese vessels that surfaced last Sunday.
The Philippine Coast Guard has removed the barriers on the orders of the Commander in Chief.
“Hindi tayo naghahanap ng gulo,” the President stressed in an ambush interview with media in Surigao.
(We are not looking for trouble.)
“Basta gagawin natin, patuloy nating ipagtatanggol ang Pilipinas, ang maritime territory ng Pilipinas, ang mga karapatan ng mga fishermen natin namangisda doon sa mga areas kung saan sila nangigisda daan-daang taon na,” he said.
(We will continue defending the Philippines, the maritime territory of the Philippines, and the rights of our fishermen who have been fishing in those areas where they have been fishing for hundreds of years.)
According to the President, he was refraining from using any hostilities, but the barriers needed to be removed.
“Umiiwas tayo sa mga maiinit na salita, ngunit matibay ang ating pagdepensa sa teritoryo ng Pilipinas,” said Marcos.
(We avoid heated words, but our defense of Philippine territory is strong.)
Marcos, who is also the agriculture secretary, emphasized that the removal of the barriers had to be done for the fisherfolks.
He said the barriers were cut, and fishermen could get 164 tons of fish in the area.
“Again, many of these are operational issues and that I really cannot talk about,” Marcos said.
“But in terms of taking down the barrier, I don’t see what else we could do,” he explained.