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Harassment and violent demolition in Patungan a flaw to GRP’s sincerity in peace settlement with NDFP

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Harassment and violent demolition in Patungan a flaw to GRP’s sincerity in peace

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Empty tear gas canisters and bullet cartridges used by PNP and PAF to disperse the fisherfolk and residents who resisted the demolition

settlement with NDFP

Manila, Philippines ­– The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) scores the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the violent demolition they perpetrated in Brgy. Patungan, Maragondon, Cavite on Monday; saying this might create clog in the peaceful negotiation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The violent demolition happened the day after President Duterte restored its unilateral ceasefire on August 21.

In the wake of President Duterte’s unilateral ceasefire declaration, more than 500 elements of the PNP and Philippine Air Force (PAF) have trooped Brgy. Patungan to escort the demolition team and execute the demolition order issued on July 12,”

They were all fully armed. In response to the residents who collectively resisted the demolition, PNP and PAF have fired their guns in the ground and used tear gas to disperse and intimidate us,” Susan Agner, a resident of Patungan and Spokesperson of Save Patungan Now Movement (SPNM) said.

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Fisherfolk cries out over violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan; calls on to investigate the PNP and Philippine Air Force

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Fisherfolk cries out over violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan; calls on to investigate

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Fishermen and residents of Brgy. Patungan set up a barricade in defiance to the looming demolition in their community

the PNP and Philippine Air Force

Maragondon, Cavite – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) condemns in the highest possible terms the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for the violence they perpetrated during the attempted demolition yesterday in Brgy. Patungan, Nasugbu, Batangas.

About 500 combined demolition crew, PNP and PAF have trooped Barangay Patungan yesterday morning to resume its adjourned demolition which they started on the afternoon of August 22.

Reports from the residents said PNP and PAF used blank bullets and tear gas to disperse the residents who collectively resist the demolition.  Despite the violence committed by the state forces, the residents led by the Save Patungan Now Movement managed to maintain their set-upped barricade, blocking the demolition team from entering their community and frustrating the demolition.

Because of the strong resistance and unity of the residents, the demolition crew, despite their police and military escorts has failed to completely execute the demolition. But the looming threat of demolition continues for they will not stop until the last house and the last family have been ejected from this land,” Susan Agner, Save Patungan Now Movement said in a statement.

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Pamalakaya denounced the violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan

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Pamalakaya denounced the violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan

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Brgy. Patungan residents set up a barricade in defiance to the looming threat of demolition in their community

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) condemned the violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan, Maragondon, Cavite yesterday. About ten houses were violently demolished yesterday by hundreds of demolition team escorted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Brgy. Patungan is a home to 353 fisherfolk and peasant families which have a looming threat of eviction under the Writ of Demolition ordered by the Naic Regional Trial Court (RTC)

The 602-hectare fishing and farming community being claimed by the Maria Theresa Virata Realty Corporation (MTV Realty Corporation) was already sold to Henry SY, a business-tycoon who is about to convert Patungan’s productive fishing and agricultural grounds into a money-making eco-tourism hub. This will result to the demolition and displacement of 353 fisherfolk and peasant families depending mainly on its rich fishing and agricultural resources on a day to day basis.

According to Susan Agner, a Patungan resident and Spokesperson of Save Patungan Now Movement, fully-armed PNP and PAF trooped their community yesterday to escort the demolition team. But the strong resistance of the residents who barricaded the community for months has failed the demolition team to completely demolish their houses.

The presence of the PNP and PAF during the demolition yesterday wasn’t just to escort the demolition team; they were even part of the demolition team irreverently removing our houses. This brought fear and trauma to the residents especially to the children,” Agner said in a statement.

Today, Pamalakaya received report from Save Patungan Now Movement that the PNP and demolition team have returned to Brgy. Patungan this morning and had a standoff with the residents.

Henry Sy and his funded-PNP will not stop until a single house is immobile on this land,” Agner said.

Meanwhile, Pamalakaya appeals to President Duterte to stop all the demolition of fishing communities for eco-tourism purposes.

With or without relocation, the government should refrain from evicting fisherfolk from coastal communities especially if it would only replaced by big businesses’ money-making hub. ‘No relocation, no demolition’ scheme is too complicated so it should be a ‘no more demolition’ at all,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said.

“We call on President Duterte to investigate PNP’s involvement in the demolition and its possible cahoots with the Sy family. Their duty is to serve and protect but it seems like they are acting as a regular goons of Henry Sy,” Hicap ended. ###

‘Stop arming the fishermen!’ – Pamalakaya to new BFAR Chief

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‘Stop arming the fishermen!’ – Pamalakaya to new BFAR Chief

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Pamalakaya Chairperson Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Monday denounced the militaristic approach of the new Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Eduardo Gongona in resolving the illegal activities in the Philippine waters.

This is in response to the creation of West Philippine Sea anti-illegal fishing task force and arming of the 600-Davao fishers for BFAR’s Bantay Laot Program. The Bantay Laot Program aims to equip the fishermen with weapons and run after the government’s so called illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Pamalakaya said this might create rift between the fisherfolk and won’t actually solve the illegal activities in our fishing waters.

This will be small-fishermen against small-fishermen. Instead of uniting the small fishers for the protection of our marine resources, BFAR wants to stir up a hornet’s nest between them by arming each other and running after another,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fisherfolk group rejoices as 9 NDFP consultants were released for peace talks

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Fisherfolk group rejoices as 9 NDFP consultants were released for peace talks

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The newly-freed NDFP Consultants held a press conference right after their release yesterday | Photo courtesy of Kathy Yamzon

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) lauds the release of the nine consultants of the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) for formal peace negotiations between the latter and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in Oslo, Norway starting this August 20.

Peace is in the air and we can smell it. The release of these peace consultants were a very good start towards the just and lasting peace in the country that everyone longs for,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.

The nine NDFP consultants that were released this week were Maria Concha Araneta, Renante Gamara, Ernesto Lorenzo, Ruben Saluta, Alan Jazmines, Tirso Alcantara, Alfred Mapano and Kennedy Bangibang and Jaime Soledad.

We direly support the peace talks between the GPH and NDFP and will push for its final peaceful conclusion for this won’t only bring the decades-old civil war in the country to its final curtain, but also an end to the enduring poverty suffered by the Filipino people under this tattered ruling system,” Hicap said.

The NDFP has comprehensive and substantive agendas that will genuinely address and resolve the plight of the Filipino people like landlessness, joblessness, poverty and injustice through its Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER).

Meanwhile, Pamalakaya still calls on the Duterte administration for the unconditional release of the remaining hundreds of political prisoners that were still behind bars for some absurd trumped-up criminal charges filed by past administrations. Also needs to be released immediately are the NDFP Consultants Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria who were allowed to join the peace talks by the Manila Court. ###

Laguna Lake fishers want LLDA to cancel all newly-approved fishpen-permits

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Laguna Lake fishers want LLDA to cancel all newly-approved fishpen-permits

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Laguna Lake fishermen passes along enclosed fortified fish pen

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Wednesday urged the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to cancel all the newly-approved fish pens in Laguna de Bay.

As of May 04, 2016 the LLDA has granted permits to 195 fish pen applicants; 142 of those are corporations, 46 are individuals while 7 are fisherfolk cooperatives. On July, President Duterte ordered the dismantling of large fish pens in Laguna de Bay to give way to the small-fishermen to utilize the waters of Laguna Lake.

While the LLDA is at the height of dismantling vast fish pens in Laguna de Bay, they should also restrain themselves from issuing permits to large fishing firms and cancel all the existing newly-approved ones,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.

The fisherfolk group laments how Laguna Lake fishers have been adversely affected since vast-tract of fish pens proliferate in Laguna Lake waters.

Large fish pens congest Laguna Lake; it narrows the traditional fishing grounds of the small fishermen that used to be communal before. But now, the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake is partitioned by the tiny fraction of corporations and rich individuals. What happens to the small fishers is that they are huddled over the small portion left,” Hicap said

Hicap also added that fisherfolk are being harassed by fishpen-security guards every time the former comes close to the fish pens.

Now is the time to declare Laguna de Bay as a ‘no fishpen zone’. Laguna Lake fishers have suffered long enough from this corporate occupation of Laguna de Bay,” Hicap said.

How futile it is that the LLDA is on a roll in removing fish pens one by one but on the other side has been approving new permits on a wholesale basis. It’s a 2 in 1 duty, while LLDA dismantles large fish pens, they should cancel all the newly-approved permits as well and cease from issuing permits especially to big fishing firms,” Hicap ended.

Pamalakaya wants LLDA Chief Neric Acosta charged for negligence and incompetence

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Pamalakaya wants LLDA Chief Neric Acosta charged for negligence and incompetence

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LLDA General Manager Neric Acosta | Photo courtesy of old.abante.com.ph

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) wants to investigate and charge Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Nereus “Neric” Acosta for the rampant proliferation of fish pens and reclamation activities in Laguna de Bay during his term.

Pamalakaya said while GM Acosta has recently ordered the dismantling of vast fish pens in Laguna de Bay, the LLDA recently approved a total of 195 fish pen applicants; 46 of those are individuals, 8 cooperatives and 142 corporations.

During Acosta’s term, presence of fish pens in Laguna de Bay dramatically rose to 73.1%. Fish pens occupies 13, 000 hectares of Laguna de Bay on 2006, but rose to 22, 500 during Acosta’s term.

We smell something fishy about GM Acosta’s stand against fish pens. Why only now? We think it’s only “papogi” to the present administration maybe so he could keep his position. Not one big fish pens were dismantled during his term, it even increased. Not one erring fish pen operators were prosecuted especially those who uses dummies to illegally acquire hundreds of hectares of fish pen areas, more than what is allowed. We want to know if there is a “secret partnership” between the LLDA official and private aquaculture firms that acquired large portions of Laguna de Bay,” Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.

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