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FISHERS SAY, ESPERON CONFIRMS

Chinese taking giant clams, destroying reefs in Scarborough


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If members of the Chinese coast guard have been taking fish from Filipino fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal, Chinese fishermen have been taking giant clams and have destroyed coral reef in the resource-rich area.

According to Jun Veneracion's report on "24 Oras", fishermen from Masinloc, Zambales who fish waters off the shoal have seen how Chinese fishermen treat the giant clams and the corals.

"Pinaghuhukay nila e. 'Yung nasira ang mga corals e. Dapat pangitlugan ng mga isda, wala na. Parang winasak lang," a fisherman said.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, the chairman of the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea, confirmed that Chinese fishermen were behind the destruction of the corals.

He said the government had already told the Chinese authorities about the matter.

"Ipaparating uli natin yan," Esperon said when told of the Chinese fishers' treatment of the corals in the Scarborough Shoal.

Esperon, however, adverted to the Duterte administration's policy of quiet diplomacy when it comes to dealing with China.

"Sa mga ginagawa naming ganito, ipagsasabay pa ba natin?" Esperon said.

"Kailangan pa ba naming sabihin yung aming tinatawag na quiet diplomacy?" he added. —NB, GMA News

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