Filipino fishermen are no longer being intercepted at Scarborough shoal – Palace

MANILA – The Filipino fishing boats are no longer being intercepted by the Chinese Coast Guard at the Scarborough Shoal for the last three days, according to the Malacanang on Friday.

The Palace made this observation a week after President Rodrigo Duterte returned from his fruitful state visit in China.

”It has been observed that there are no longer any Chinese Coast Guard vessels, and that Filipino fishing boats are no longer being intercepted and that they are now able to fish in the area without being intercepted,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.

Abella, however, did not mention his source of information but said “apparently there have been some physical observations in the area.”

During his trip to China from Oct. 18 to 21, President Duterte was able to discuss with Chinese leaders the issue of Scarborough Shoal, part of the disputed West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.

According to the radio reports, the Filipino fishermen can now enter the Scarborough Shoal without being harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard.

Last July, the Philippines got favorable decision from The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) when it ruled in favor of the arbitration case filed against China.

Based on the PCA ruling, China has no legal basis to claim historic rights using ‘9-dash line’ map to the disputed South China Sea.

The arbitration case was filed by the previous administration of President Benigno Aquino III. Jelly Musico/