Image Courtesy of: Senate of the Philippines (Facebook Page)

By Junex Doronio

WITHOUT MINCING WORDS, a furious Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri on Monday called on China to respect and protect coral reefs which takes hundreds of years to breed following reports that some Chinese vessels were engaged in massive illegal harvesting of corals in Rozul Reef located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

“Nakakainis talaga ang ginagawa nila sa ating West Philippine Sea. Pati ba naman ‘yung corals natin ay sinisira nila, hina-harvest nila,” Zubiri exclaimed.

On Saturday, September 16, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos disclosed the resurgence of Chinese vessels swarming around the area and their massive harvesting of corals.

With this latest Chinese incursion, Carlos said that they would increase military presence in the Philippine territory.

The Senate President called the activities as “acts of sabotaging” the Philippines’ natural resources.

“It’s a food security issue. Pag winasak na po nila iyon, eh anong magagawa ng ating mga mangingisda? Wala na pong fishing grounds dahil wala na pong breeding grounds ang ating mga isda. Definitely, they are sabotaging our natural resources. They are also sabotaging our ability to feed our people. Dahil mawawalan na po ng isda itong mga lugar na ito,” Zubiri said. (AI/MN)