Duterte Admin Confirms Chinese Coast Guard "Not Seen in Scarborough Shoal"

The Malacañang Palace under the leadership of President Rody Duterte from Mindanao confirmed to the media that the Chinese Coast Guards are "Not Seen in Scarborough Shoal" in the past few days. The confirmation was made by the Palace as they announced also that Filipino fishermen are now able to freely access the area.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing that "Regarding fishing in Scarborough Shoal, for the past three days it has been observed that there are no longer any Chinese Coast Guard vessels and that Filipino fishing boats are no longer being intercepted and that they are now able to fish in the area without being intercepted" the Presidential spokesperson stated.

Although the non-presence of the Chinese Coast Guard vessels were no longer an issue for Filipino fishermen, the Presidential spokesperson did not disclose how such observation of non-presence of the Chinese was made and by whom.

The latest development in one of Asia's highly strategic area comes one week after the Philippine President made a state visit to China. Upon arrival from Duterte's state visit to China, he announced that Filipino fishermen may be able to return to the Chinese-held shoal after he discussed the territorial rift with Chinese leaders.

One of the lawmakers who accompanied Pres. Rody Duterte during his trip to China, Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque claimed that Manila and Beijing have reached a "modus vivendi" to allow Filipino fishermen to return to the disputed area.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella also clarified that "There's nothing official regarding that matter. But all we know is based on results, fishermen can now go into those waters," when asked by the press if there was already an agreement reached between China and the Philippines.

Pres. Duterte also noted in previous interviews with the media that during his trip to China, he told Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping that he cannot surrender anything in the country's claim in the West Philippine Sea, citing the July 12 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

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Duterte Admin Confirms Chinese Coast Guard "Not Seen in Scarborough Shoal" Duterte Admin Confirms Chinese Coast Guard "Not Seen in Scarborough Shoal" Reviewed by Phil Newsome on 10/29/2016 Rating: 5

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