By RUDY D. LIPORADA
When Chinese poachers swooped upon and harvested Filipino-bred giant clams off Philippine marine territories, President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ did not give a damn. His minion, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., just shrugged off the giant taklobos as “fucking food” and said that he did not want to be known as defender of clams.
Indeed, like everything else that Digong does not want to go to war against China with, the clams, as writer Ma. Ceres P. Doyo says, cannot bleat unlike lambs when they are frightened or sense danger. Thus, when the Chinese stole the clams beneath the calmness of the sea, no one heard them howl for they were simply clamped – that beyond their being robbed, China has, once again, encroached and trampled the sovereignty of the motherland.
It was too late when Filipino marine scientists and other protectors of sea life found out that the sea creatures that they have painstakingly posited and tended to grow into giants had been harvested. The Chinese did not even snatch the clams as food as they took only the humongous shells and trashed the innards.
Yes, there was an uproar. Yes, there should be an uproar from the Filipino people. After all, there are no armies with pitchforks led by an Aquaman to defend the clams. Yes, there should be an uproar for this is beyond the clams. This is about China freely, as allowed by Digong, snatching from the Filipinos their maritime rights, as dictated by the tribunals, on the Philippine Seas. This is about China occupying islands within the sphere of Philippine maritime rights. This is about Filipino fishermen not allowed by China to fish in Philippine waters.
This is everything about China making sure to lynch the Philippines with into becoming an unwilling province of China to fulfill the wish of Digong. This is about China stealing the resources of the Philippines, depriving the Filipinos who should benefit from such resources…
…such as the clams.
It is reported that “eight of the existing giant clam species in the world are found in the Philippines. Six are being cultured at the Bolinao Marine Laboratory (BML) of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UPMSI). These include the Tridacna gigas, Hippopus, Tridacna derasa, Tridacna squamosa, Tridacna maxima and Tridacna crocea.”
A giant clam can command thousands of pesos.
While breeding the clams, for obvious reasons, had been under the radar for some time, according to BML Deputy Director Dr. Cecilia Conaco, “few breeders were reared from larvae and juveniles imported from the Solomon Islands and Australia in 1987.” It has boasted up to 35,684 adults and 11,209 juveniles, “making it the country’s largest giant clam sea nursery.
“As a result, the nursery has been the source of 50,000 giant clams now thriving in more than 60 sites all over the country, saving these from impending extinction.”
Conaco also said that “despite the significant rise in population, giant clams have remained endangered, it is still illegal to gather and possess them for trade.
“They’re still very vulnerable to extinction. The Tridacna gigas (the biggest among the giant clams), was locally extinct. It still is in many areas in the Philippines. That’s why it is the focus of our conservation project.”
But China just swooped upon the clams just like that.
And Digong does not give a damn but could go to war with Canada on trash.
BTW, he got China committed for another round of loans when the Filipinos have not yet felt the benefits of earlier loans he got.
Oh! Not only on the clams but what a sham! # nordis.net