Aquino asks Faeldon's group to reconsider planned fishing expedition in Panatag Shoal to prevent escalation of tension — Palace

May 18, 2012 9:49 pm 

MANILA, May 18 — President Benigno S. Aquino III has asked former Marine Captain Nicanor Faeldon and his group not to push through with their plan to sail to the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal to prevent further escalation of tension between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China, a Malacanang official said on Friday.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte issued the statement during the regular press briefing in the Palace following reports that Faeldon and his group have decided not to push through with their Panatag fishing expedition Friday upon request of the Chief Executive.

"The President indeed did speak to Mr. Faeldon and had asked him to reconsider his plan of going to Panatag Shoal because it might be construed in a negative way," Valte said.

Reports said a fleet of fishing boats to be led by Faeldon and former Annapolis cadet Manny Albuera were supposed to sail to Panatag Shoal to reinforce the country’s territorial claim over the said rich fishing ground.

However, Faeldon and his group heeded the request of President Aquino not to push through with their fishing expedition.

"We were informed this morning that he had reconsidered his plan," Valte said.

Valte said the Philippines maintains its stand to resolve the territorial claims over the contested Panatag Shoal diplomatically and to de-escalate any tensions between the country and China.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Bajo de Masinloc is an integral part of the Philippine territory and part of the municipality of Masinloc, province of Zambales. It is located 124 nautical miles west of Zambales and is within the 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Philippine Continental Shelf. (PNA)

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