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Ban Trump in South China Sea! – fisherfolk group
Sea Code of Conduct will nullify international arbitration verdict – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) rejects the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea which is part of the agenda in the upcoming 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to be held in Manila from November 12-14.
A Code of Conduct is a set of rules and guidelines aimed to address the freedom of navigation of claimant countries in the disputed South China Sea.
In a statement, the fisherfolk group said the Philippines does not necessarily need to ratify in the Code of Conduct because the country has already won the arbitration case against China over the South China Sea. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) last year has invalidated China’s “9-dash line” claim over the entire South China Sea and has favored Philippines’ exclusive sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf (ECS).
PAMALAKAYA said that entering into another set of rules will negate and set aside our winning in the international court.
“Mining magnates run DENR, MICC” – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – “We strongly condemn Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for auctioning our environment to big-time mining corporations by lifting the ban on open-pit mining,”
This was the statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) calling out Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for reversing the policy of former Secretary Gina Lopez to ban open-pit mining operations during her term.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu on Tuesday lifted the ban after meeting with the interagency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), which Cimatu and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez co-chair the government body.
“We are enraged by how Secretary Cimatu and the members of the MICC have fast tracked the reversal of policy on open-pit mining. We are against open-pit mining because it effectively devastates the delicate environment, contaminates watersheds and other coastal areas, and moreover, it destroys the livelihood of farmers and fisherfolk in the countryside,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said by institutionalizing the open-pit mining, Cimatu has not only scrapped the pro-environment policies of his predecessor Gina Lopez, but he also blatantly neglects the cry for social justice of rural people who have been affected and displaced by the destructive mining activity.
The fisherfolk group also blames President Rodrigo Duterte for keeping mum on the DENR’s approved policy.
“It’s all on President Duterte and his Cabinet members who have direct and indirect mining interests like Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez who has been staunch against Lopez’ ban order. It seems President Duterte’s anti-open-pit mining position before has now been swayed by his economic cluster,” said Hicap.
According to environmental activist Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, the Dominguez clan has stakes in mining companies, such as Alsons, Sagitarrius Mines, Lafayette Philippines, United Paragon Mining, and Philex Mining.
“It is now crystal clear that the environment department is back at the hands of giant mining oligarchs and private developers,”
“We hold President Duterte, Roy Cimatu, and every members of the MICC accountable for this flagrant betrayal and disrespect on the socio-economic rights and welfare of the people by allowing big-time mining firms to plunder our resources,” ended Hicap. ###
“Duterte gov’t is military junta, not revolutionary,” – PAMALAKAYA
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) has mocked President Rodrigo Duterte over his warning to “declare a revolutionary government” to frustrate his so-called “destabilization plot” against his administration.
In a statement, the group said President Duterte is out of his mind to aspire for a revolutionary government when in reality, his actions lean towards a full-scale fascism, military junta government.
In the country’s history, the Duterte administration has the most militarized bureaucracy, with 60 former military and police officers in powerful and strategic posts.
“It seems that the President doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He has no idea what revolutionary government is,”
“A revolutionary government is people-governed; it will emerge through the strong resistance and unity of the people. The Duterte regime is no and will never be revolutionary because it is mainly surrounded by proven military and police bloodhounds suppressing the democratic interests of the Filipino people,”
“Military junta is more accurate label of the Duterte government,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said the assumption of President Duterte about the “destabilization plot” is more likely possible with all his anti-people policies that could lead to his own isolation from the people.
“President Duterte himself is the destabilizer of his own government; through his militarist and authoritarian style of ruling, wide and stronger mass-resistance to topple his regime is highly inevitable. And from these mass defiance he would witness a true revolutionary government that is complete opposite than his,” ended Hicap.
“Total ban, not higher excise tax on giant mining” – fisherfolk to Cimatu
Manila, Philippines – The newly confirmed Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu has earned the ire of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) for favoring on higher excise taxes on mining instead of total closure to the industry, saying the higher tax directive would not totally halt the destructive operations of giant mining companies, but will more legitimize the plunderous activity.
“For Cimatu, it has always been money over the environment. Instead of issuing a total ban policy on all large-scale destructive mines, Cimatu resorts to lighten the verdict by imposing a higher excise tax which big-time mining firms would hardly endure,”
“No amount of billions of revenues could rehabilitate the devastated mountains and contaminated seas caused by destructive mining. Moreover, no amount of “fair government revenue” could provide social justice to farmers, fishers, and other rural people who will be displaced from their livelihood in exchange for mining operations,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said the higher excise taxes on mining could barely paralyze the industry because of its billions worth of mineral resources plundered through our land.
Instead, the group demands to pursue closing of destructive mines that devastate our delicate environment and pose heavy burden to the socio-economic rights of the people, and push a responsible mining that would foster our local industries and beneficial to the Filipino people. ###
Fisherfolk staged “fishing strike” against Navotas reclamation
Manila, Philippines – “We call on to stop the 650-hectare reclamation project in the city of Navotas that will phase-out more than 20,000 fishermen and coastal settlers in the country’s fishing capital,”
This was the call of the Navotas fishermen under the banner of the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday at their fluvial protest action in Manila Bay, dubbed as fishing strike against reclamation.
The fisherfolk rode in more than 25 fishing boats while roaming from Barangay Tangos to Navotas Centennial Park where the fences and markers are being installed in preparation to the reclamation project, known as the Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP).
The NBBP is a 650-hectare reclamation project approved by city Mayor John Rey Tianco intended for commercial and mixed use. More than 20,000 Navotas fishermen are expected to be displaced if the project pushes through.
The fisherfolk group likened their fate under the reclamation project to hundreds of thousands of Jeepney drivers if government’s Jeepney phase-out program nationwide will proceed.
“Like our Jeepney drivers who will lose livelihood due to Jeepney phase-out, the Navotas reclamation would effectively phase-out thousands of fisherfolk and urban poor from their livelihood and community in the name of government’s pseudo-development project. Ever since, reclamation projects are far from the interest of the fisherfolk but a detrimental to their livelihood and moreover to the delicate marine environment,”