Philip­pines says China seizure of fish catch un­ac­cept­able

The Myanmar Times - - Asean Focus -

The Philip­pine pres­i­dent’s spokesman says the Chi­nese coast guard’s seizures of fish caught by Filipino fish­er­men near a dis­puted shoal are un­ac­cept­able.

Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Harry Roque pre­sented three fish­er­men who de­scribed their tra­vails at a news con­fer­ence Mon­day at the pres­i­den­tial palace.

Roque said he and the for­eign sec­re­tary have raised the in­ci­dents with the Chi­nese am­bas­sador in Manila, who, he said, has as­sured them that the Chi­nese coast guard per­son­nel would be pun­ished if the Filipinos’ com­plaints are proven af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The re­cent in­ci­dents at the Scarborough Shoal drew at­ten­tion af­ter a lo­cal TV net­work in­ter­viewed some fish­er­men and showed video of the al­leged Chi­nese con­fis­ca­tions. The in­ci­dents come de­spite friend­lier ties be­tween the Asian neigh­bours un­der Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, who has avoided strongly crit­i­cis­ing China in pub­lic.

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