Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte has asked China to allow Filipino fishermen to continue fishing in the West Philippine Sea.
In an interview on Friday night, Duterte said he made the appeal when he met Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on Monday, May 16, in Davao City.
“I said to let go, ‘wag naman nila ipitin ‘yung mga fishermen. That spells food security for the Filipino. If you disallow troll fishing, commercial fishing, I would understand. But those in bancas, ‘wag ninyong ipitin kasi kailangan din naman kumain ng Filipino,” he said.
Officials have reported over the weekend that Filipinos can now fish in the disputed area without being harassed by Chinese authorities. “ Chinese Coast Guard Biglang Bumait sa mga Pinoy Fishermen dahil Kay Duterte“
As soon as he assumes office, he will be ready to pursue multilateral talks about the sea row, he added.