This satellite image dated Sept. 27, 2016 from think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative shows wide semi-circular scars left by Chinese fishing boats' clam-digging operations around Scarborough Shoal.
CSIS/AMTI via DigitalGlobe
No settlement ending up with China allowing Philippines to protect clams, Locsin says
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - April 22, 2019 - 4:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines' top diplomat said he would not allow a settlement of the South China Sea dispute that would put China at an advantage in connection to giant clams in Scarborough Shoal.

Chinese vessels have reportedly been extracting giant clams from Scarborough or Panatag Shoal, which locals call Bajo de Masinloc, off the coast of Zambales.

"I won't allow a settlement of our dispute with China ending up with a concession from China to allow us to protect our clams — or binding itself to protect clams — giving China one up, delighting environmentalists I despise, and leaving us with less than we have under the Hague," Locsin said on Twitter.

In July 2016, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a landmark ruling on the Philippines' arbitration against China's nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea, part of which is the South China Sea.

The arbitral tribunal ruled that fishermen from the Philippines, China and other countries had traditional fishing rights in Scarborough Shoal, which it ruled as a rock that is not entitled to an exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.

The tribunal also concluded that Beijing violated its commitment under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for failure to prevent Chinese fishing vessels from engaging in harmful harvesting activities of endangered sea turtles, coral and giant clams at Scarborough Shoal.

More than two years after the Hague ruling was released, Chinese ships continue with its harvesting activities on the shoal, destroying the marine environment in the area.

Following reports that Chinese fishing boats continue to extract giant clams from Scarborough Shoal, Locsin said the legal department of the Department of Foreign Affairs will be taking legal action on the matter.

Locsin, later on, tweeted that Manila and Beijing should not go to war over clams.

“I am not going down in history as a clam defender, okay? It's a complaint; we're looking into it; but these are just f*cking food,” Locsin said.

A group of Filipino lawyers and some fishermen from Palawan and Zambales had asked the Supreme Court to issue a Writ of Kalikasan that would direct the Philippine government to act on Chinese environmental depredation in the West Philippine Sea.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, said the Chinese might retaliate if the Philippines would use armed action.

“Again I will repeat: the best way is still negotiation. Negotiation is the best avenue by which we can solve any conflict in any area the South China Sea,” Panelo earlier told ANC.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with