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PH fishers back at Panatag Shoal

Pangasinan fishermen thankful to President Duterte

Updated

By Liezle Basa Inigo

Fishermen from Barangay Cato in Infanta, Pangasinan returned home early Saturday, October 29 with substantial catch from Panatag or Scarborough Shoal as they have resumed fishing inside the lagoon for the first time in four years.

  • Happy fishermen—Crewmember Archie Macosta of F/B Ruvina 3 shows a giant scabbard fish caught at the Scarborough Shoal on Saturday. The crew is now preparing their fishing boat for another shipping expedition after successfully entering the disputed shoal heavily guarded by China Coast Guard. Boat skipper Gilbert Bauyo says they will go back as soon as possible as ‘business is back’ at their traditional fishing grounds. October 29, 2016/Jojo Riñoza/Manila Bulletin

  • Happy Fishermen—Crewmembers of F/B Ruvina 3 who are now preparing their fishing boat for another shipping expedition after successfully entering the disputed shoal heavily guarded by China Coast Guard. Boat skipper Gilbert Bauyo (3rd from left) says they will go back as soon as possible as ‘business is back’ at their traditional fishing grounds. October 29, 2016/Jojo Riñoza/Manila Bulletin

  • Happy Fishermen—Crewmembers of F/B Ruvina 3 prepare their fishing boat for another shipping expedition to the Scarborough Shoal after successfully entering the disputed shoal heavily guarded by China Coast Guard. Boat skipper Gilbert Bauyo (standing, right) says they will go back as soon as possible as ‘business is back’ at their traditional fishing grounds. October 29, 2016/Jojo Riñoza/Manila Bulletin

  • Happy fishermen—Crewmembers of F/B Ruvina 3 prepare their fishing boat for another shipping expedition to the Scarborough Shoal after successfully entering the disputed shoal heavily guarded by China Coast Guard. Boat skipper Gilbert Bauyo says they will go back as soon as possible as ‘business is back’ at their traditional fishing grounds. October 29, 2016/Jojo Riñoza/Manila Bulletin

  • Happy fishermen—Crewmembers of F/B Ruvina 3 prepare their fishing boat for another shipping expedition to the Scarborough Shoal after successfully entering the disputed shoal heavily guarded by China Coast Guard. Boat skipper Gilbert Bauyo says they will go back as soon as possible as ‘business is back’ at their traditional fishing grounds. October 29, 2016/Jojo Riñoza/MB

    The fishermen boasted their huge harvest, including black and orange lapu-lapu, bakalaw, tanigue and damas or bisugong bato.

    Regaining the Filipinos’ fishing rights and access to the disputed shoal was among the points Duterte discussed with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during the president’s four-day state visit to China.

    On October 23, while visiting storm-hit Cagayan, Duterte declared that Filipinos could return to their traditional fishing grounds in the shoal provided that they avoid the shallow breeding grounds of fish.

    Five days later, Malacañang announced that Chinese vessels have left the disputed shoal.

    Television reports on Sunday, October 30, said Chinese coast guard vessels remained in the area but were not driving away the fishers.

    Nagpapasalamat talaga kami at naging maganda na ang ugnayan ng ating Pangulong Duterte sa China at naging maganda na rin ang takbo ng aming buhay at sana tuluy-tuloy na ito (We are really thankful that President Duterte’s dealing with China went well, our lives have improved and we hope this will be for long),” Gilbert Bauyo, who was among the first batch of fishermen to return to Panatag Shoal, told the Manila Bulletin.

    Bauyo said they attempted to return to the shoal on October 24 but China Coast Guard vessels chased them away. When they tried again the next day, they were surprised to see they can freely fish again.

    Naglakas-loob talaga kaming mga fishermen na pumalaot nang marinig namin na nagkaroon ng magandang ugnayan ang Pangulong Duterte sa China. Totoo nga ang kanyang mga salita na magiging malaya na makapunta sa Scarborough (We fishermen dared to return when we learned President Duterte made a positive outcome in dealing with China. He was right in declaring we can freely sail to Scarborough Shoal).”

    MB FILE—A file photo of Scarborough Shoal taken during aerial inspection conducted by the Philippine Navy with Manila Bulletin correspondent assigned to take photo. The Scarborough Shoal is situated at the West Philippine Sea, 198 kilometer west of Subic Bay with an estimated area of 150 square kilometers. It has rich maritime resources, which why Chinese ships are currently engaging in illegal activities within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone. (Photo by: ERWIN G. BELEO)

    MB FILE—A file photo of Scarborough Shoal taken during aerial inspection conducted by the Philippine Navy with Manila Bulletin correspondent assigned to take photo.  (Photo by: ERWIN G. BELEO)

    Bauyo said being able to fish again freely at Panatag Shoal will benefit at least more than a thousand fishermen and their families.

    Filipino fishermen relying on the bounty of Panatag Shoal suffered years of being deprived access since China seized the shoal in 2012 and engaged in a two-month standoff with the Philippines. China claims almost all of South China Sea with its nine-dash line.

    The incident prompted Manila to file a case against Beijing before a U.N.-backed arbitral tribunal, which favored the Philippines in its July 2016 ruling. China had ignored the proceedings and the ruling.

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    • kaddy

      What cannot be achieved by blatant arrogance can be realized by practical, simple and common sense and unassuming style. Who won in the legalese strategy? Uncle Sam, of course. For four years since 2012, Filipino fishermen were shut off from their traditional fishing ground due to such grandstanding and myopia of past leaders.

    • Aubb

      Wow,
      I love that Grouper fish head displayed by the proud Ph fisherman.
      Here in the Gulf, we call it Hamour, I think is similar to Lapu Lapu in Ph.
      I love to cook Hamour fish head (large size only) soup with okra or cabbage, simmered for long time.
      Thanks to wise decision of Duterte, war with China is aborted.

      Mabuhay to all hardworking fishermen/women at Pantag shoal.

    • #RealitySucks

      So where are the trolls?
      Why is it that when it comes to good news about kay President Duterte and mga nagawa nya eh wala mga trolls, pero kapag bad news at paninira ang balita eh sya naglipana sila. Oh well just hide under your rocks, and please just let President Duterte do his thing. Kita nyo naman resulta diba.

    • EBR

      Masayang makita ang ating mga mangingisda na masayang nakaka pangisda na doon.
      At ang mga huling isda na yan ang kakainin ng mamamayang Pilipino..

    • AKO.MAOZEDONG

      KUNG SI MARYA ROSAS NAGING PANGULO NATIN MALAMANG SASABIHIN NA “WALANG NAMAMATAY SA GUTOM”.

    • Freedom-of-Expression

      Administration controlled media is publicizingng local fishermen catches in Chinese occupied PH territory as part WIN-WIN situation as announced defense secretary Forteleza failure to reclaim the island from Chinese. Current administration insinuating they are successful in arbitration with China only to allow local fishermen to fish in their own homeland while admitting not to pursue recovery of the island from communist China.

    • Kanto kabinet

      Quite ironic to display a Lapu Lapu fish in the picture, a bottom eating fish. That says it all.