Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino prodded the administration to defend Filipino fishermen following reports that some of them were prevented by Chinese vessels from fishing or landing on the sandbars around Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea.
In a media interview in Pangasinan, Sen. Bam emphasized that the government should have acted earlier on the issue of harassment of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.
“Matagal na pong isyu iyan at matagal na dapat itong inaksiyunan ng gobyerno,” said Sen. Bam, who is eyeing a second term under the Otso Diretso slate.
“Ang hinahanap ng mga Pilipino ay isang gobyerno na sila yung kakampi, palagay ko mahalaga na i-raise na ito formally ng ating gobyerno at huwag nang daanin pa sa pakiusapan,” the senator added.
If Sen. Bam will have his way, he said a formal complaint regarding the harassment of Filipino fishermen by Chinese vessels in Philippine waters should be lodged before multilateral organizations so the issue could be threshed out.
“Kailangang makita naman ng ating mga kababayan na kinakampihan ng gobyerno ang kapwa Pilipino. Hindi po iyong parang mas pinapaboran pa iyong ibang mga bansa,” Sen. Bam emphasized.
On September 19, 2016, Sen. Bam filed Resolution No. 158 seeking to clarify the country’s foreign policy direction and determine the administration’s position on several issues, including the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise and other dealings with China.