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DFA rejects retaliation vs China on sea row

Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - September 8, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has rejected suggestions that the government retaliate against China over the West Philippine Sea dispute by padlocking Chinese businesses in the Philippines.

“We have adopted a policy of constructive engagement with China for our mutual benefit,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told the House of Representatives appropriations committee chaired by Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab on Monday night.

“We will remain on that track until such time that there is conclusion to our arbitration case in the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS),” he said.

He was responding to calls from Rep. Fernando Hicap of party-list group Anakpawis for the government to cancel the licenses of businesses owned by Chinese nationals or Chinese state corporations like those in the mining and power sectors.

Hicap said such retaliatory actions might pressure China into abandoning its reclamation activities in some disputed islands as well as its blockade of Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal off Zambales, where Chinese coast guard vessels have been driving away Filipino fishermen.

“Our fishermen are losing P300,000 a week in potential catch because the Chinese are preventing them from fishing in the Panatag Shoal area, which is their traditional fishing grounds,” he said. – Danny Dangcalan, Pia Lee-Brago

ACIRC DANNY DANGCALAN DAVAO CITY REP DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS FERNANDO HICAP FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL ISIDRO UNGAB LAW OF THE SEA PANATAG SHOAL
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