Senator Richard Gordon on Sunday condemned China’s harassment of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea, saying this behavior is making it difficult for the Philippines to be friends with Beijing.
Gordon prodded the Duterte administration to protest the reported incidents in the disputed waters.
Fishermen complained that members of the Chinese coast guard patrolling the disputed territory took their best catch in Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal).
“We are freedom-loving people. These are marginalized people. Why are you doing this to the poor people who are just trying to make a living. This is what makes being friends with China nowadays difficult,” Gordon said in a statement.
The senator also noted that a Chinese helicopter hovered over a Philippine military rubber boat during a resupply mission in the Ayungin Shoal.
Gordon said China should exercise “extreme control” over their forces that conduct patrol activities in the area, which is a common fishing ground for all claimant states.
“The actions of the Chinese coast guard are more like the mulcting practices of rogue law enforcers victimizing helpless people,” he said in statement.
“They are no different from the pirates of the olden times who prey [on] helpless victims,” he added. /ee
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