Pamalakaya letter to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on the plan of US to exploit Oyster Bay for basing

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PAMALAKAYA (Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas)

National Headquarters: No. 56 K-9th Street, Barangay Kamias, Quezon City

Telefax: 0632-426-9442 Email Address: gerryalbert2013@gmail.com

 

October 14, 2013

Honorable Leila de Lima

Secretary

Department of Justice

Philippine Government

An Appeal to the Secretary of Justice to Conduct an Investigation on the Plan of the Philippine Government and the Philippine Navy to Construct A Mini-Subic Naval Base in Oyster Bay in Palawan with the Demand to Purse Appropriate Charges Against Concerned Officials Arising from the mini-naval base project

 Honorable Secretary Leila de Lima,

 Greetings from Pamalakaya,

The national leadership of Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), a national federation representing 43 provincial fisherfolk organizations and regional formations in Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Panay and Guimaras Islands, Northern Mindanao and Far South Mindanao regions  in the Philippines humbly submit this letter of appeal to the Honorable Office of the Secretary of Justice calling for a full-blown investigation on the reported plan of the Philippine government to construct a mini-Subic Naval Base in Oyster Bay, province of Palawan.

The mini-Subic Naval Base according to Navy officials of the Aquino government will enhance the external defense capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in lieu of the perpetual tension in the West Philippine Sea between the Government of the Philippines and China and among the current claimants in Spratly Group of Islands.

Madam Secretary, according to the Philippine Marine official, the plan will involve the stationing of 50 to 60 US marines in Palawan as an advance command post in West Philippine Sea. Aside from transforming Oyster Bay into a mini-Subic Naval Base, the US also wants to convert the 246-hectare Philippine Marine Corps reservation in Samariniana town in Brooke’s Point into a a joint marine operational command.

Madam Secretary, it is appalling to note that the US will also develop Ulugan Bay, Macarascas, Puerto Princesa and Tarumpitao Point in Rizal and San Vicente into US command posts. ” A lot of things are happening in Palawan. The entire island province is being converted into a US military base and this best kept secret is still being denied by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and puppet military officials of Washington in the Department of National Defense and Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Madam Secretary, we share the same views provided by critical groups, including political and military experts that the Oyster Bay  mini-naval base project is part of the US agenda to increase its military presence in the Philippines on rotational basis.

It is designed to host military warships of Washington not only to check the disturbing presence of Chinese military in West Philippine Sea but to preserve the military hegemony of the US  in East Asia and the Pacific in the name of military program known as US Pivot in Asia.

Honorable Secretary de Lima please allow us to raise some points that would convince and compel the Department of Justice to conduct a full-blown inquiry and lay down the charges against people and institutions involved in the construction of mini-Naval base.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution strictly prohibits foreign military bases in the country. According to Article XVIII, Section 25 of the 1987 charter – foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate ,and when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.

Madam Secretary, although Philippine defense and navy officials are in denial mode about the claim that such is being undertaken for the purpose of US military basing and increased access as to use of Philippine military facilities, the difference is hairline, and it automatically falls under full-pledged US military basing or politically synonymous to foreign military basing and such represents wholesale violation of national sovereignty of nearly 100 million Filipinos.

The impact of Oyster Bay naval base project to the livelihood of fishing folks and marine environment is far reaching, extremely dangerous and totally catastrophic.

Madam Secretary, Oyster Bay is well recognized by the international community as a very rich area in marine biodiversity and any plan to alter or change the nature of the bay will have a giant kill on the biodiversity and on the fisherfolk  who are  largely dependent on the rich biodiversity of Oyster Bay and Palawan ocean and marine waters.

  • The Philippine Navy under Commodore Joseph Rustom Pena, commander of the Naval Forces West had confirmed last week that around P 500 million in taxpayers’ money were already spent for major infrastructure components of the Oyster Bay mini-naval base project, including the 12-km access road from mainland Palawan.

Madam Secretary,  this is highly revolting and grossly insulting to the collective intelligence and sovereign rights of the Filipino people.  These hard-earned taxpayers’ money should not be spent for the Oyster Bay mini-naval base project, which will chiefly benefit US military forces at the expense of the country’s natural and financial resources.  This a major act of treason against the Filipino nation and grand subservience to the military lords of the US  and operators of military industrial complexes in Washington D.C.

Madam Secretary,  for the purpose of investigation, we ask your honorable office to further expand the investigation. Aside from the Department of National Defense (DND), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Navy , we would like the following departments to included in the investigation—– the Office of the President, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) because they are directly involved in the Oyster Bay mini-naval base project.

Sincerely yours,

SALVADOR FRANCE

Vice Chairperson

Pamalakaya

PETER GONZALEZ

Vice Chairperson

Pamalakaya

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