Fishery accord relates only to matters of law enforcement: Manila
The Philippines Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed Wednesday that it is negotiating with Taiwan on signing a fishery law enforcement agreement, but said it will not touch on drawing a border line in their overlapping economic zones.
Ministry spokesman Charles Jose said in a press conference that the Philippine government is reviewing a draft of the agreement and hopes that by setting up such a mechanism, law enforcement authorities on both sides can have guidelines to follow when resolving disputes.
He added that the agreement will only provide a standard procedure for detaining foreign ships poaching in Philippine territorial waters and will not touch on sovereignty or territorial issues.
He elaborated that the agreement will be signed by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, since there are no diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Taiwan.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will convene a crossdepartment meeting to review the draft of the agreement, but the timing and departments to be represented are not known at the moment, Jose disclosed.