Pamalakaya says PH filing of case vs. China on sea dispute is US directed
Manila, Philippines- The move of the Philippine government to file a complaint against Beijing before the UN Arbitral Tribunal in connection with the long-running dispute in South China Sea failed to get the support of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya).
The administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III will challenge Beijing’s claim to most of the territories in South China Sea on Sunday (Manila Time) with the filing of memorandum or formal pleading which would allow the UN Arbitral Tribunal to study Manila’s argument that the Chinese claim covers parts of Philippine territory.
“The act of the Manila government is designed and orchestrated by the puppet master in Washington DC to confront an emerging power that puts imperial America’s global supremacy to test. It misrepresents the collective sentiment of the people by mobilizing narrow patriotism in the service of the US hegemony. We are being used as pawns and collateral damage of the US government in its own war against Beijing,” said Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France in a press statement.
“We put serious doubts and sincerity on the part of the Aquino administration in filing this case. We believe national interest is not the real engine of this UN complaint, and what is in the core of this complaint is US sinister agenda in South China Sea that includes military hegemony, control of navigation and oil and gas resources,” the Pamalakaya official added.
Chinese officials warned the Aquino administration that the filing of the case against Beijing by the Philippine government regarding the sea dispute in West Philippine Sea would result to a disastrous fallout in bilateral relations with China. They said China will never accept arbitration chiefly pushed by the Aquino government.
Pamalakaya argued that nothing will happen in the case since Beijing, the other party in the case, refuses the process and will not subscribe to the decision of International Law of the Sea (ITLOS). “Even if we win our case in ITLOS, China will not follow it and the ruling will be remembered as moot and academic,” the group said.
The militant group said a better option is to explore bilateral talks with China in connection with the West Philippine Sea dispute instead of going too far with two little of success. “The bilateral option is necessary to score a meaningful and giant stride. But first, the Philippine government should quit from taking cues from US and negotiate from the collective interest of the people in dealing with China over sovereignty and territorial matters,” said Pamalakaya.
Meanwhile, Pamalakaya rejected criticisms that it was playing soft with China.
” Please allow us to remind the Aquino administration and Secretary Voltaire Gazmin about our strong criticism of China over the last seven years. We protested the yearly incursion of Chinese fishing vessels in Palawan Sea and other areas covered by the country’s exclusive economic zone since 2007. We have been filing diplomatic protests against Beijing since the time of President Arroyo and the Armed Forces of the Philippines even chided us for doing the work for the Filipino people. We also filed a petition letter and conducted protest actions against the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) that prevented China from taking up oil and gas explorations in West Philippine Sea. Also during the time of President Arroyo, we opposed the proposal of Chinese government to lease 1.5 million hectares of agricultural lands in the country,” the group said.
“We had also asked the Chinese government to be reasonable enough and respect the rights of the Filipino fishing people to explore the territorial waters of Panatag Shoal, which rightfully belongs to the Filipino people. Among the contested territories in South China Sea, the Scarborough Shoal legally, politically, geographically belongs to Filipino people, and this is a fact and not a bluff. The rulers of Beijing should accept this reality and refrain from pursuing disturbing act that would endanger fraternal relations between the Chinese and the Filipino people,” said Pamalakaya.
Pamalakaya also warned China that its bullying of Filipino fishermen to pursue its highly questionable claim over Panatag Shoal might be exploited by the US government, which he said is the biggest threat not only to regional peace in East Asia and the Pacific but to world peace.
“Beijing’s foreign policy and aggressive escapade regarding its own claim over West Philippine Sea is being used by the US- the no.1 terrorist in the world and the puppet republic in Manila to justify the increasing presence US troops and put premium to program of of military aggression by Washington D.C in the West Philippine Sea and the rest of the region. China is well informed about the sinister plan of US, but its action like the firing of waste waters on Filipino fishermen is not complimenting the collective interest of the people to get rid of US intervention and promote regional peace and fraternal relations through the exercise of political respect of sovereign and territorial rights, non-interference and mutual understanding among nations and people, added Pamalakaya.
Pamalakaya said while it strongly rebuke China’s insistence to control Panatag Shoal and the rest of the West Philippine Sea, what worries the group is the blatant and bizarre program of the US government and Philippine authorities to exploit the situation and use the incident in Panatag Shoal as a pretext to more US military intervention and wars of aggression in the region. ” China did a wrong move based on wrong notion that Panatag Shoal and the rest of South China Sea belongs to Beijing, but what worries us more is the US agenda that is extremely fatal and catastrophic to Filipino people and their Asian brothers including the Chinese people,” the group said.
The group urged Beijing to rethink moves like the water cannon incident last January 27 in Panatag Shoal and pursue diplomatic talks in finding solutions to the long-running problem in West Philippine Sea between China and the Philippines and among claimant nations in the region. “China should be reminded that the Filipino fishermen are not their enemies and that the principal enemy of the Chinese folks and the global people is imperial America, nothing more, nothing less,” said Pamalakaya. ###