PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., said that he has discussed with Beijing authorities the latest incident in the West Philippine Sea where a near collision occurred between the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Chinese ship.
The PCG also accused the said Chinese Coast Guard of ‘dangerous maneuvering and shadowing’ near Ayungin Shoal.
The said incident nearly resulted to the collision of the CCG with Philippine Coast Guard patrol vessel BRP Malapascua.
“I have already. You know, this is the kind of thing that we are hoping to avoid. But this time it was a little more dangerous, because malapit na sila, talagang kamuntik nang magbanggaan. And that will cause casualties on both sides, and that is exactly what we want to avoid,” Marcos said.
According to Marcos had asked Beijing to speed up the creation of a high-level communication mechanism to resolve such incidents in the West Philippine Sea.
“And pinilit ko sa kanila yung aking sinasabi na merong high level na communication, tapusin na natin, buuin na natin. Hindi pa natin nabubuo, we are waiting for China to give us the details on who will be the team at their end. Yung sa Pilipinas, tapos na, we already have a team, we have already submitted the names, even the telephone numbers of these people. So inaantay na lang natin ang counterpart ng team natin from China,” he said.
“They agree, they are working on it,” he continued.
Marcos said that Manila and Beijing will be sitting down to discuss the fishing grounds in the West Philippine Sea.
“Sabi ko, pwede ba, pag-usapan na natin ang fishing grounds dahil ito naman talaga ang first priority natin for now. Of course ang overall priority is to safeguard our maritime territory but when you go down into the details, the most immediate concern is the fishing rights, so that is what we have to do, that’s what we have to decide,” he said.
“And they have agreed to sit down. I’ve asked the Coast Guard and the DFA to put together, perhaps a map of the fishing grounds, sasabihin natin, ito Pilipinas talaga ito and we’ll see what they’ll say when we give them our proposal,” he added.
Catherine R. Cueto