A few days ago, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported that a Chinese vessel fired water cannons at a group of fishermen in Scarborough Shoal or Bajo De Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea.
Fortunately, the fishermen were unharmed and were able to go back home to their families in Zambales while the ruthless Chinese Coast Guard or the suspects remained in the area to this day.
In an interview over Radyo 5 last week, AFP Spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala said the incident should not stop our fishermen from going back to that disputed area as the Philippine military encourages them to continue to ply their trade there.
However, the military spokesman clarified that they will not be sending any naval vessel to protect our fishermen from further harm or abuse from the Chinese Coast Guard personnel stationed in the area.
Zagala explained that the presence of a Philippine Navy vessel in the disputed area might just be interpreted as confrontational by the Chinese and may further escalate the already tense situation there.
Clearly, what the AFP is telling our fishermen, “sige mangisda kayo doon pero bahala na kayo sa buhay niyo!” or something to that effect since it does not want to commit any force to protect or at least to ensure the safety of these poor fisher folks.
I don’t think our navy vessel will look aggressive and confrontational if it positions itself from a distance. Just as long as our fishermen can see that the AFP is just right behind them.
Don’t you agree DFA Secretary del Rosario, DND Secretary Gazmin and AFP Chief Gen. Bautista?
Congress wants anti-dynasty bill dead?
The anti-political dynasty bill filed by Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT party-list a year ago may just die a natural death and will soon find its way to the waste basket of Congress.
The bill has been pending at the House of Representatives for over a year now because it has not been introduced in the plenary, which many believe will not gain support from 200 representatives who have relatives in public office as well.
My informant said Rep. Fredenil Castro of Capiz, chairman of the committee on suffrage, failed to introduce the bill in the plenary despite being listed in the order of business when Congress resumed sessions in January.
House majority floor leader Sherwin Tugna of the CIBAC party-list explains that the issue is so sensitive and many of his colleagues are affected since most of them belong to political dynasties.
Tugna said if these lawmakers will leave the session hall once this bill is tackled on the floor, there would be no quorum and which could eventually lead to the suspension of the session.
The bill bans incumbent officials’ spouses, children, parents and relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity running or holding office in local or national elective positions.
If this is the case, that bill will definitely end up in the lower house’s dumpsters!