Press Release
June 26, 2019

Statement of Sen. Francis Pangilinan on Malacañang to tolerate Chinese fishing in Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
Di pwedeng ipamigay ninuman ang Exclusive Economic Zone, atin 'to: Kiko

The Recto Bank is part of the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It is ours. Allowing Chinese or other foreigners to fish there violates our Constitution.

This is clear to all, especially to the 22 Filipino fishermen who asked this of Secretary Piñol after they almost drowned because a Chinese vessel rammed their fishing boat.

The Philippine government has the sacred duty to defend our marine wealth in the EEZ and to "reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens," using the phrase in our Constitution.

And we Filipinos are not the only ones saying this, even the international community in the decision of the arbitral tribunal on July 12, 2016 is on our side.

While the president can enter into agreements involving mineral resources under the last paragraph of Article XII, Section 2 of the Constitution*, he cannot do so with respect to marine resources.

Love the Philippines. Love the Filipinos, especially the fishermen who feed us. Don't allow foreigners to fish in our EEZ, hold to account those who rammed and left our fishermen at sea.


*Article XII

Section 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.

The State shall protect the nation's marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.

The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.

The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.

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