ALLOWING China or other countries to use resources under the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is a violation of the country's Constitution, said opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan Wednesday, June 26.
Pangilinan's statement came after the Duterte administration said Tuesday, June 25, that China can fish in the Recto (Reed) Bank.
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"The Recto Bank is part of the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone. It is ours. Allowing Chinese or other foreigners to fish there violates our Constitution," he said in a statement.
"This is clear to all, especially to the 22 Filipino fishermen who asked this of Secretary [Emmanuel] Piñol after they almost drowned because a Chinese vessel rammed their fishing boat," he added.
The ramming of a Filipino fishing vessel by a Chinese trawler happened on June 9.
"The Philippine government has the sacred duty to defend our marine wealth in the EEZ, and to 'reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens,'" he said.
"Love the Philippines. Love the Filipinos, especially the fishermen who feed us. Don’t allow foreigners to fish in our EEZ, hold to account those who rammed and left our fishermen at sea," he added. (Ryniel Berlanga/SunStar Philippines)