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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

BBM’s Order To Cut China’s 300-Meter Buoys On Scarborough Shoal A "Strong Message"

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s order to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to cut the floating 300-meter buoys placed by the China Coast Guard (CCG) on Scarborough Shoal constitutes a strong message to the Chinese government.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) divers cut the ropes to the floating 300-meter buoys placed by the China Coast Guard (CCG) on Scarborough Shoal. I Screenshot: Philippine Coast Guard Facebook

This was underscored by De La Salle International Studies Professor Renato De Castro during the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City, where he emphasized the decisive move as it tells the Chinese government about his strong political will to ensure food security for the Filipino people, especially for fishermen, and his independent foreign policy, the professor said.

According to De Castro, "Ano ba 'yung pinapahiwatig natin lalo na sa ating foreign policy? Unang-una, pinapakita dito 'yung decisiveness ng ating Presidente, na in a matter of a few hours, he made a decision, despite, of course, the possibility that he would have an adverse reaction from the Chinese Coast Guard."

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"Pangalawa dito, 'yung importansya na binibigay ng ating gobyerno sa ating food security… madaming nawawalan ng trabaho sa Zambales hindi makapasok ang ating mga mangingisda… part and parcel ng diet natin ang isda. Pangatlo, ang exercise ng tinatawag nating ‘independent foreign policy…"

De Castro noted that President Marcos, without consulting with the governments of the US, Japan, and Australia, displayed his independent foreign policy as he made the decision to confront the CCG's "maritime expansionism."

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It was the president's way of showing the Chinese government how his administration would deal with their illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea and how to defend the country's sovereign rights over the Philippine waters, he said.

De Castro said that China was caught by surprise, which is evident in the statements it released to the public.

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President Marcos is also implementing the July 12, 2016, ruling, which stated that the Scarborough Shoal is a "traditional fishing ground," which means that everyone should have access to the area, including China and nearby countries.

The professor believes that China can expect more decisive actions from President Marcos as he emphasized that the administration "will not stand idly by" if the CCG continues with its maritime expansion in the Philippine waters.

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He likewise noted that the CCG has also designated a spokesperson similar to PCG spokesman for West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela.

"Sa ngayon, medyo natataranta sila based on sa mga pronouncement nila… nagulat sila dun sa desisyon ng ating Presidente. They never expected us to push back. So, sa ngayon, ang ginawa ng gobyerno ng China is trying to assure their public that they are still on top of the situation," De Castro said."

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