PH social media overflows with fish memes after Tito Sotto ‘fish could be coming from China’ defense 

Screenshot: @iscottiie/Twitter.
Screenshot: @iscottiie/Twitter.

Hilarious fish memes are currently overflowing on Philippine social media for a very unfunny reason.

Netizens are now poking fun at and criticizing Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III’s latest defense of President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to allow the Chinese to fish from Philippine territory.

The fish could have come from China, he said.

“It’s very difficult to say that there is exclusivity when it’s underwater,” argued Sotto in an interview with ABS-CBN News. “The fish could be coming from China and the fish from the Philippines could be going to China.”

He even went all scientific and cited fish migration.

“If we want to be technical about it, relate it to the constitutionality of what should be owned by us, there are exclusive types of fish that are only found in China but can be found here because of migration perhaps,” he said.

Sotto was commenting on whether he thinks the president’s statement could be used in an impeachment case, as argued by critics.

On Monday, Duterte said in a speech that he has agreed to allow China to fish in the Recto Bank (aka Reed Bank), even though it is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Duterte said this was part of a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping that allegedly also allows Filipinos to fish from the Scarborough Shoal. China has imposed a fishing ban in the Scarborough Shoal, even though it is still a disputed area and claimed by the Philippines.

Duterte has also said that he won’t bar China from fishing in Philippine waters despite the West Philippine Sea (WPS) boat sinking incident earlier this month because “we’re friends.”

“I don’t think China would do that (stop fishing). Why? Because we’re friends. They are of the same view that that should not result in any bloody confrontation,” he said.

READ: Chinese vessel sinks Philippine fishing boat in West Philippine Sea, abandons crew members

Filipinos could not believe Sotto’s defense of the president and are now slamming the senator’s logic in some creative memes.

Columnist Tonyo Cruz shared a SpongeBob SquarePants meme where a fish says in Filipino: “What’s up fishes, we’re getting passports.”

Another one shared by radio personality Sam Gogna (aka Sam YG) shows a fisherman catching a fish then throwing it back into the water after seeing its “Chinese passport.”

@wawam shared a parody of a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) poster that enumerates individuals who do not need to schedule passport appointments.

It includes Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWD), pregnant women, minors, and “Fish from China, apparently.”

One meme shared by @iscottiie shows Finding Nemo‘s Marlin telling a crying Dory, “Dory, I’m sorry but we can’t cross the Filipino border.”

@yoshicitesz posted a screenshot of a Google search for “clownfish” and tweeted: “Tito Sotto’s Species if he became a Fish.”

@kiemjeje shared a photo of a piece of fish and asked: “Hi Fish! Should I eat you with my hands or should I use chopsticks?”

Following the backlash, Sotto issued a two-sentence statement yesterday to say that people shouldn’t take what he said seriously.

“My comments on WPS and its resources was a tongue-in-cheek statement. Sadly, only a few people understood,” he said in English and Filipino.

Screenshot: Senate of the Philippines website.
Screenshot: Senate of the Philippines website.

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