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Why meddle in Pinoy fishermen’s affairs? Dick doubts China’s reliability as ally

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“You are not a reliable ally or a friend.” Senator Richard Gordon made the remark as he minced no word in castigating China’s alleged harassment of Filipino fishermen in Scarborough or Panatag Shoal, which is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

He expressed doubt on China’s posturing as an ally of the Philippines after a video of Chinese Coast Guard personnel surfaced showing them “confiscating” the catch of Filipino fishermen fishing in the Panatag Shoal.

“Alliances are best seen by the actions of a people. You are not a reliable ally,” Gordon said on Thursday.

“Hindi dapat pakialaman ‘yan, you are unfriendly,” the senator said to China.

He added, “Hindi ko talaga nagustuhan na, kahit hindi kinuha ang mga isda, naghahanapbuhay ‘yung tao, bakit mo pakikialaman?”

Gordon said the Filipino fishermen are unarmed and were just trying to earn a living for their respective families. “Hindi naman threat ‘yan. The fishermen are not threats.”

He described the alleged harassment as “an unfriendly act to Asia.”

“You are not a reliable ally or a friend. We are not enemies of China but you are treating us as if we are interlopers in our own country,” he said.

Gordon on June 10 condemned the harassment suffered by Filipino fishermen in the Panatag Shoal at the hands of Chinese Coast Guards patrolling the area.

Filipino fishermen fishing at the Panatag Shoal complained that Chinese Coast Guard in the area are getting some of their catch.

Recently, too, a Chinese chopper hovered over a rubber boat deployed for a resupply mission of the Philippine military in Ayungin Shoal.

Gordon said the Chinese leadership should exercise extreme control over their forces that are so-called patrol activities at the area, which is a common fishing ground for all the claimants.

Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoalt is a disputed territory claimed by the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and the Philippines.

“The actions of the Chinese Coast Guard are more like the mulcting practices of rogue law enforcers victimizing helpless people,” Gordon said.

“The Chinese leadership must exercise extreme control over their so-called patrol activities at this common fishing ground so that they won’t resort to thievery,” he said.

He added, “They are no different from the pirates of the olden times who prey of helpless victims.”