Sotto: UNCLOS permits foreigners to fish in the South China Sea

Posted by watchmen
July 9, 2019
Posted in OPINION

“…This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes’…” –Jeremiah 17:5-6

When referring to critics who attacked him after agreeing that Chinese and other foreign fishermen were permitted to fish within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea, Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III remarked, “The last laugh is mine.”
Speaking before the Rotary Club of Manila induction and handover ceremony last Thursday at the Manila Hotel, the senator affirmed, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), foreigners, like the Chinese, can fish within the 200-mile EEZ.
The statement comes as a complete contradiction to detractors, who have claimed only Filipinos have rights to the body of water.
In terms of Philippine interests, Sotto said he is seeking a condition before other countries enter the zone to fish wherein Filipino fishermen would be allowed to fish in their territorial waters—a take-off from the UNCLOS policy. He explained, the policy recognizes there is no longer any one country that can be considered the “sole owner” over bodies of water.
“There is actually a rule, which recognizes the fact that bodies of water are considered ‘commonly-owned’ by all nations,” the senator added. “Everyone—now—has a right to those bodies of water as well.”

Rotary Club of Manila President Joaquin ‘Jack’ Rodriguez vowed to open the doors between his chapter and others within Rotary International District 3810, which include Manila, Pasay City, Cavite, and Occidental Mindoro, as a means of expanding services to needy Filipinos.
Following his recent formal induction, he said there are plans to launch bigger projects in order to leave a bigger and more meaningful legacy.
Rodriguez also signed a memorandum of cooperation with District 3810 Governor Liza Vicencio Elorde.

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