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The Palace said this week that President Duterte will soon issue an executive order making a portion of Scarborough Shoal a “marine sanctuary and no-fishing zone”—giving the illusion that he can do with mere words what the Chinese Coast Guard have been enforcing with their ships—keep people out of the disputed lagoon. In announcing the move, a spokesman for the President said that at their recent meeting in Lima, Peru, Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared receptive to Duterte’s idea of turning the shoal into a sanctuary, which would effectively ban all fishing inside the shoal but not around it. National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon said turning the shoal into a sanctuary would help diffuse the country’s territorial dispute with China, suggesting that President Duterte’s declaration was aimed at appeasing an occupying foreign force—which is how we must view the Chinese ships, if we truly believe that Scarborough Shoal is ours.
Something fishy. (2016, November 23). Manila Standard, p. A4.
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