PH fishermen at Kalayaan islands hail arbitration win

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2016 04:33 PM

Filipino fishermen at the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea are elated over the arbitral tribunal's decision upholding the Philippines' right to exploit resources in disputed waters.

"Masaya sila sa naging desisyon ng Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)," Mayor Roberto Del Mundo said in an interview on ANC Wednesday.

According to Del Mundo, the situation in the area is normal and no Chinese patrol vessels have been sighted.

The local government has also not received new reports of harassment. Local fishermen have earlier reported being bullied by the Chinese Coast Guard.

"Clear na clear po. Normal po yung pamumuhay ng mga tao dun. Wala pong umiikot-ikot dun," Del Mundo said.

OVER AT SCARBOROUGH

Meantime, in a press briefing this morning, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said the United Nations-backed tribunal's ruling gives Filipino fishermen the go ahead to exercise their fishing rights in disputed waters in Scarborough Shoal, a traditional fishing ground off Zambales province.

READ: PH fishermen have right to fish in Scarborough: Hilbay

Former Solicitor General and now-Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza said it is important for government to talk to local fishermen to determine what safeguards are needed so that they can fish in the disputed waters.

"Sa pagkakaintindi namin ay medyo nakakapangisda na. Sana ay tuloy tuloy na. Ang gabay ay manggagagaling sa lokal na pamahalaan...Ayaw nating magkaroon ng isang insidente," he said.

"Sigurado kami kasi may nakakausap rin kami sa pamahalaan. Iyan ay binibigyan na ng diin. Kailangan ipatupad pero mag hunos-dili, '
wag padalos-dalos," he added.

READ: Del Rosario: PH win shows 'right is might'