Press Release
July 8, 2023

Tolentino sees 'Barbie' film violating PH fishers fishing rights

MANILA - Senator Francis "TOL" N. Tolentino sees 'Barbie' film violating Filipino fisherfolks' rights in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) with a map showing the invalidated China's nine-dash line in one of the scenes in that movie.

"Yung karapatan ng ating mga mangingisda, hindi po 'yun pelikula. Tunay na buhay po 'yun, 'yung araw-araw na pagkuha ng laman-dagat para sa kanilang pamilya at para sa paninda, hindi po kathang-isip 'yun. Reyalidad po 'yung halos mabundol na sila ng malalaking barko. 'Yan ang tunay na mapa," Tolentino, vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said during his weekly radio program on DZRH.

(The rights of our fisherfolks, is not a movie. It is real life, the daily gathering of sea products for their families and for selling, is not imagination. It's a reality that they can be bumped by big ships. That's the real map.)

Filipino fisherfolks had been harassed several times while fishing at the Ayungin Shoal the worst instance was when 22 Filipino fishermen were left at sea after their boat was rammed by a Chinese vessel on June 9, 2019.

In the same prog, Tolentino asked guest Commodore Jay Tarriela, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson for West Philippine Sea (WPS), on what he can say about the Chinese statement that Filipinos are making incursions in the territory of China.

Tarriela maintained the Philippines' position that the WPS is within Philippine territory and China violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The senator also agrees with US Senator Ted Cruz that this may be part of a propaganda campaign to subliminally convey to the world that China owns all territories within the nine-dash line.

He said that the same had happened three times already and wondered why it is happening again while he pondered the earnings the Barbie film could get when shown in China.

In the past days, Tolentino's position to ban the Barbie film in the Philippines had been picked up by several international news outfits because of the depiction of the invalidated nine-dash line of China in the South China Sea.

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