Philippines, Taiwan discussing fisheries deal
MANILA - The Philippines and Taiwan are discussing the crafting of a bilateral fisheries agreement, President Benigno Aquino said Wednesday.
Aquino said closer coordination will prevent an incident similar to what happened early this year when a Taiwanese fisherman was killed by Philippine Coast Guard personnel at the Balintang Channel.
Aquino told the annual Presidential Forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines at the Manila Hotel he is happy with the country's current status of relations with Taiwan.
“There are ongoing discussions with regards to fisheries at the present time. And basically, it’s more coordination of each other’s rules so that we do prevent an incident like the Balintang Channel incident,” he said.
“There is very limited contact that I can do. We have [a] one-China policy. And my understanding is on the business front, that that has suddenly been improving so… I guess, [I can] say that I’m happy with the current state of the relations," he added.
Final Moro peace pact
Aquino also expressed confidence that a final peace agreement with Moro rebels would be completed within his term.
“The bottom line is, both parties acknowledged that the annexes will have the most contentious issues; and we are progressing… Of the four annexes, we’ve concluded discussions on two. We have the remaining two left. That doesn’t stop us from having the Sajahatra program… and actually acting on it and showing them the benefits of peace," he said.
"So, are we delayed? Crafting the correct agreement that is livable and doable by all will necessarily take time, and we are cognizant of that fact. And better to have the good deal rather than to have any deal that is not livable by all parties," he added.
He said Sabah is not on the agenda in the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.