PH crafting response vs China on Scarborough Shoal, Sandy Cay incidents

THE National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea is meeting and discussing the Philippines’ response after the Chinese gravely insulted Philippine sovereignty in Scarborough Shoal and in Sandy Cay 2 last Sunday.

The Chinese installed a floating barrier in the fishing ground off Scarborough Shoal last Sunday that barred the entry of Filipino fishermen.

Not far from Scarborough Shoal, an enormous pile of damaged corals was dumped in Sandy Cay 2, just two nautical miles off Pagasa Island.

Authorities have condemned the recent actions by China and the NTF-WPS is still discussing the appropriate move by the government.

Col. Medel Aguilar, armed forces spokesman, said the dismantling of the barrier in Scarborough Shoal was legally binding since the area was rightfully owned by the Philippine government.

Asked what China’s response may be, Aguilar said, “We don’t care about their (China) reaction. It’s ours, it’s ours.”

When asked if Filipino fishermen could now fish in Scarborough Shoal, Aguilar pointed to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to “decide since they are in the area.”

“We have only asserted our rights, we don’t have to be afraid,”Aguilar said.

SOURCE: The Manila Times (Francisco Tuyay)