By Prince Golez
Malacanang said on Tuesday the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte allowing China to fish in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone was not treasonous.
A fishing right can be granted to foreign vessels, said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, citing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“Bakit naman treason. Eh sabi mo nga, puwede—under the ruling, puwedeng i-grant eh. Paano magiging treason if it’s… puwede,” Panelo added.
“We will allow it kasi we’re friends naman, ‘di magbigayan muna tayo – parang ganoon ang punto ni Presidente,” he added.
Asked if the Philippines is granting rights to China to catch fish in the West Philippine Sea, the chief presidential legal counsel said: “Hindi naman ganoon… Siguro hindi—kumbaga parang ito-tolerate mo lang. It’s not necessarily grant. Hindi, parang—kasi friends nga daw eh. Kung friends, ‘di magbibigayan kayo.”
Panelo, however, said he will ask Duterte if his statement granting China rights to fish in the Philippine territorial waters is a policy statement or not.