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Fisherfolk organizers harassed, chased down by elements of PNP in Sariaya, Quezon
Sariaya, Quezon – The provincial organizers of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Sariaya, Quezon reported harassment from the elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the 415th Provincial Police Mobile Group.
Ara Marcellana, PAMALAKAYA-Southern Tagalog Coordinator and organizer reported that on the morning of February 18, at least 10 elements of the PNP have searched and rummaged Barangay Guisguis Talon where she and her co-organizers had last went into. The elements of the PNP that were in a full battle gear have threatened and interrogated fisherfolk leaders in the community and told them not to entertain the organizers or else they will get involved in the arrest.
“This is the sum of all our fears, the government-declared all-out-war is actually a total war versus unarmed and legal activists fighting for the welfare of the marginalized sectors in the countryside. We vehemently condemn the PNP and its elements in the strongest terms possible for the harassment and fear they brought to the fisherfolk of Quezon. Our members and organizers in Quezon are active members of PAMALAKAYA that legitimately waging their local struggle which is the planned conversion of their fishing community into private venture,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
“Forget the investment sham; let’s talk about the shattered lives of people”, fishers to Chamber of Mines
“Forget the investment sham; let’s talk about the shattered lives of people”, fishers to
Chamber of Mines
Manila, Philippines – The country’s biggest mining group Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) has earned the wrath of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) over the formers insistence to continue its mining operations despite the closure order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to prevent our environment from further destruction caused by unrestrained, large-scale mining operations.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA calls the ‘economic growth’ claimed by the COMP as an absurd and one-sided growth.
“In what universe this group of mining firms has its ‘economic growth’? They even exploit our workers through unfair labor practices and safety risks. This one-sided industry rakes profit out of our rich minerals and resources and violates the socio-economic welfare of the people. If there is only sector that can savor the said growth, it’s probably the selfish interests of big-mining firms and not its workers,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Fisherfolk backs Lopez’s termination of mining contracts
Manila, Philippines – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez has earned the words of praise from the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) over the recent cancellation of 75 mining permits under the contract of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) operating mainly in the country’s major watersheds.
In a statement, Pamalakaya Chairperson Fernando Hicap said this will initially bring environmental and social justice to the struggling-people who have been resisting against large-scale mining operations for the protection and conservation of our environment and social rights of the people.
PAMALAKAYA said rural people particularly farmers and fisherfolk are always the front-line casualties of large-scale mining operations due to environmental and marine degradation inflicted by wanton mining activities.
“We must say well done, Secretary Lopez. Her firm stand against large-scale mining is highly notable. Large-scale mining activities always pose threat to the community, economic and social rights of the rural people through community displacement, livelihood destruction and environmental disasters,” Hicap said.
Fisheries Code legalizes rise of aquaculture – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday blamed the Fisheries Code of 1998 for the proliferation of privately-owned vast aquacultures in the Philippine waters.
Corporate takeover of the country’s fishing waters is done through the Fisheries Code’s Foreshore and Fishpond Lease Agreement (FLA) which allows an individual to lease and occupy up to 50 hectares of fishing waters, while commercial fishing firms up to 250 hectares for 25 years and renewable for another 25 years.
Citing Laguna de Bay as an example, the fisherfolk group said the 90-thousand hectares brackish lake has been occupied by vast-tracts of fish pens for years depriving small fisherfolk of their common fishing resources.
“Nothing has to blame but this 19-year old fisheries law for the proliferation of wide aquacultures in our fishing waters. The growing number of aquacultures in the Philippine waters causes overcrowding, exploitation and pollution of our rich fishing grounds. The granting of foreshore and fishpond lease contracts to big aquaculture firms must stop,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Laguna lake fishers, advocates picketed LLDA, DENR to demand rapid fish-pen
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) together with environmental alliance Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) on Monday staged a picket in the offices of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to demand the immediate and unconditional dismantling of wide fish pens owned by large corporations and individuals in Laguna de Bay.
Vast-tracts of fish pens in the 90-thousand-hectare brackish lake are now illegal after the government ceases from issuance of permits in line with its campaign to dismantle fish pens in Laguna de Bay to give way for the utilization of small fishers who have been deprived of their common fishing grounds for years due to fish pen proliferation and congestion.
Conservative data from the LLDA shows that there are approximately 13,000 hectares of private fish pens situated in Laguna de Bay. But deeper study conducted by PAMALAKAYA and SLLM claims that 60% of the size of Laguna de Bay is currently occupied by private fish pens.
PAMALAKAYA and SLLM welcome the government’s anti-fish pen campaign, but said it should be done hastily for the small fishers eagerly await their fishing zone to be reopened again for common use.
Fisherfolk wants Defense Chief Lorenzana to resign
Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) demands the immediate resignation of Department of Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for he is the United States (U.S.) front man actor to maintain the latter’s hegemony and control over our sovereignty.
The fisherfolk group said Lorenzana has finally convinced President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the construction of U.S. military facilities in our land under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
“The defense Chief has finally twisted the President’s arm! Lorenzana’s lust to maintain the U.S. military presence and aid in the country has finally pays off after some begging,”