Philippines Shelves Plan for South China Sea Fishing Militia

There were fears that the plan to assemble civilian militias to defend maritime claims could be “misconstrued” in Beijing.

By Sebastian Strangio

The Philippine government has reportedly backed down on a plan to deploy fishermen as militia forces in disputed parts of the South China Sea, citing concerns about the potential for conflict with China.

In a briefing on November 5, President Rodrigo Duterte’s National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon said that the plan, designed to beef up its defenses after years of Chinese intimidation in disputed areas, had not been “finalized” due to worries that the action could be “misconstrued.”


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