By: Elena Grace Flores
Many could not believe that President Rodrigo Duterte called on Beijing recently to allow Filipino fishermen to fish in the Scarborough Shoal despite the favorable ruling of the UN to the country’s sovereignty over the rich fishing bed.
Duterte is observed to be following Bongbong Marcos’s advise to keep on back channeling China – to avoid the break out of war. He said that bilateral talks is better to be continued with China because the Philippines has nowhere to go if the Chinese get angry.
“I would say, yes, and President Ramos did a very job. China should be hearing us now. It’s about time to leave the (disputed islands)… and allow the Filipinos to fish there,” he said, referring to Scarborough Shoal also known as Bajo de Masinloc and which is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
Based on the president’s statement, he is somewhat confident that the Chinese will be extending their hands in friendship to the Filipinos – but this is contrary to the developments of the conflict worldwide with China.
Ramos disclosed after his dialogue with the Chinese counterparts in Hong Kong that they all agreed to find a common ground instead of divisive matters that will hamper warm relations with China.
Encouraging marine conservation; avoiding territorial tension and joint fishing cooperation; plus anti-drug and anti-smuggling partnership; anti-crime and anti-corruption cooperative measures; improving tourism; developing trade and investments together and other mutual interests will be promoted by the two countries. So, Filipinos can only expect from the Duterte administration to be tailing the dictates of China.