Domagoso ready to make a “Zelenskyy” for Filipino fishermen

Should the need arise, Aksyon Demokratiko’s presidential candidate, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, is ready to accompany Filipino fishermen into the disputed Western Philippine Sea to protect them from harassment by Guard vessels. Chinese Coastal (CCG).

Domagoso said that, like Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, he will go so far as to risk his life if the sovereignty of the Philippines is threatened, especially at Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) also known as Panatag Shoal, while the Chinese government insists that the area is part of their territory.

“If I need to go with the fishermen, I will be with them. If Zelenskyy can do it, we can do it too,” Moreno said in an interview during one of his campaign outings to Misamis Oriental.

“We have frigates. I’ll be there, why not, (but) not on jet skis. I’ll be fair with you, I don’t want to promise things too much. But we’ll be there. We’ll protect our fishermen. We must fish in our oceans on our sovereign territory, and that includes Panatag Shoal,” he added.

Domagoso was referring to the remark made by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 when he said he would travel to the Western Philippine Sea by jet ski to assert the country’s rights in disputed waters.

The Philippine Coast Guard reported that a CCG vessel headed very close to one of its patrol boats near Bajo de Masinloc on March 2.

Bajo de Masinloc is part of the Municipality of Masinloc in Zambales and is located 124 nautical miles west of Zambales and lies within the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf of the Philippines. However, China also claims sovereignty over the shoal based on the so-called “nine-dash line” which was declared invalid by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Domagoso said he would exhaust all diplomatic means to resolve the standoff with China over the disputed areas of the Western Philippine Sea and avoid armed confrontation as much as possible.

But he said he would not shy away from his responsibilities to defend the Filipino people even in the face of insurmountable adversity.

“I won’t go to war as long as I can avoid it. We won’t fight. But remember, we won’t let others oppress us. I don’t want to create another problem. From now on , we have a lot of problems. But you know, when you are pushed against the wall, the oppressed can also bite,” Domagoso said.

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