• Pinoy fisherman thankful to incoming President Duterte
  • China has stopped harassing Filipino Fisherman fishing at Scarborough Shoal
  • The local fishermen believed China suddenly changed its behavior towards them after Duterte spoke with the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines

The local fishermen are thankful to incoming President Rodrigo Duterte because they believe it was because of him that China now allows them to freely fish in the contested Scarborough Shoal.

The Filipino fishermen, as noted by Philippine News, believed the main reason why the Chinese Coast Guard stopped harassing them was due to Duterte’s speaking with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua when the latter made a courtesy call with the presumptive president on May 16.

In an interview with News5’s Carla Lim, Saldy, one of the fishermen who were surprised by the sudden change of behavior of the Chinese Coast Guard towards them, said when they went to Scarborough Shoal to fish, they expected to stay there for at least two weeks, but it was cut short to just only four days because they were not harassed by the Chinese.

“Apat na araw lang kami sa laot, andami na kasi naming huli,” Saldy said.

(We stayed in the open seas for only four days because we already caught (fish) a lot]

He said they were ready for the cat-and-mouse routine with the Chinese Coast Guard as they were about to cross the boundary of the Scarborough Shoal.

As expected, the Chinese Coast Guard predictably appeared. Saldy said they were surprised that the Chinese were in a relaxed and lighthanded mood.

“Pagdating nung malaking barko ng Coast Guard nila, may binaba sila na dalawang rubber boat. Tapos lumapit samin, tiningnan lang naman kami. Tapos lumipat sa ibang Bangka pero umikot ikot lang sila, Saldy narrated.

[When the Coast Guard ship arrived, they launched two rubber boats. They approached and just looked at us. They encircled our boats and did nothing else.]

Saldy said President-elect Duterte might have given them something that changed their minds on harassing the Filipino fishermen, instead allowing them to fish.

“Bigla silang bumait ngayon. Ewan ko ba. Parang may pinakain ata si Duterte sa kanila,” he said.

[They became nice all of a sudden. I don’t know. It is as if Duterte has given them something.]