The Inbox

PNoy takes wind out of planned sail to Scarborough

By Tessa Jamandre, VERA Files

FORMER Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon was all set to sail on Friday to the disputed Scarborough Shoal to make a stand on Philippine sovereignty—until the call from the President came.

Former Marine Capt. Nicanor said President Benigno Aquino III prevailed upon him to postpone his trip. He agreed, saying he "trust(s) the wisdom of the government that it will be better for current efforts to resolve the standoff there."

The standoff between China and the Philippines has dragged on since April 10 when China sent its maritime surveillance ships to prevent the arrest of Chinese fishermen found with sizable quantities of endangered marine species, corals, live sharks and giant clams by the Philippine Navy's BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF15) on patrol near the shoal which the Philippines calls Panatag Shoal. The shoal is also known as Bajo de Masinloc and is 124 nautical miles off the coast of Zambales.

Faeldon, who was granted amnesty in April last year for his participation in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny, had organized a contingent of about 20 fishermen to sail with him to Scarborough Shoal supposedly to show support to the Philippine position against China's sovereignty claim over the area.

He said in an interview he had prepared food and other supply to last his group for a few days in Panatag Shoal. A flag pole was also supposed to be loaded to their motorized boat as they were considering hoisting the Philippine flag there.

Faeldon said, however, the President urged him to postpone his trip to give way to ongoing talks with China as his protest action might be misinterpreted.

Palace Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte confirmed the call the President made to Faeldon asking him "to reconsider his plans, as it might be misconstrued."

He added the Coast Guard also dissuaded him from proceeding with the voyage, while the Army's 24th Infantry Battalion commander, Col. Michael Samson, personally met with him to talk him out of his plans.

The former Marine captain said his aborted trip was intended to symbolically show Filipinos' support to the government's call for unity and to make a patriotic stand on the territorial row with China over Scarborough Shoal.

"Kagaya ng pinaliwanang ko kay Presidente kanina, ang hirap manawagan tayo na nakaupo lang tayo doon sa ating mga opisina gayong ang ating kapitbahay di tayo di tayo pinakikinggan. Baka kailangan natin maglayag doon para para magkaisa (As I had explained to the President, it's difficult to make a position just sitting down in our office and our neighbor isn't listening. Perhaps we need to make this voyage to be united)," Faeldon said.

"It's a call for unity, national unity to support the effort of this nation and there's no other purpose," he added.

Faeldon said he will await the development on the ongoing talks with China before deciding his next step. "But as of now, definitely we will postpone the trip," he said.

On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario called on Filipinos to unite as a patriotic stand is needed by the country in the face of a running standoff between Chinese maritime vessels and Philippine Coast Guard ships in the Panatag shoal.

China and the Philippines have exchanged a number of diplomatic protests, and are still consulting on possible ways to resolve the impasse.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

  • Rules set for climate change programs
    Rules set for climate change programs

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) have released the revised guidelines to track and monitor climate change adaptation programs of the government. “The government of the Philippines has demonstrated leadership and strong commitment in implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to respond to climate change,” read the joint memorandum circular published in The STAR yesterday. “With the goal of using the budget process to plan, prioritize and …

  • It’s time to move on– Speaker
    It’s time to move on– Speaker

    The nation can now move on as President Aquino has satisfactorily explained his side on the Mamasapano incident for which he even begged for understanding, lawmakers led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday. “It’s time to move on,” Belmonte said in reaction to Aquino’s pronouncements made before new police graduates at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) last Thursday. The President has spoken far too much about what he knows and about his limited involvement in the …

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options