Fisherfolk slammed SC ruling on EDCA
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) denounced the Supreme Courts’ (SC) ruling on the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) yesterday. Voting 10-4, the Supreme Court ruled that EDCA is an Executive Agreement, not a treaty.
The EDCA, which will give more US military access to our sovereignty, was signed on 2014 when United States President Barrack Obama visited the country.
In a statement, Pamalakaya said that US bases will bring fear and havoc to the Filipino people especially to the fisherfolk.
“With the US military presence in the country, fisherfolk’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. On October 2014, two fishing boats sank after being rammed by US guided missile destroyer in Subic Bay. Three Filipino fishermen were injured and their fishing boats capsized and badly damaged. This incident has brought fear and intimidation to the fisherfolk to return to their livelihoods again.”
“Several fishing bans have been imposed due to the US-RP balikatan exercises held on our seas and in order to provide a blanket security to US troops.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.
The Pamalakaya leader recalled way back in 2009 where the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) imposed a 6-month fishing ban in Bicol Region to give way to the US-RP balikatan exercises.
Also in Oyster Bay, Palawan, the fisherfolk are not allowed to go within the vicinity of the waters where the US is building its naval base. Pamalakaya said that the Philippine government through taxpayers’ money spent P500M for the construction of the naval base.
“The US through its puppet-RP government wants to convert the country into a sole US-military annex under the guise of military modernization and external conflict protection.”
“The EDCA is a complete threat to our national security and sovereignty. This will bring terror and extreme danger to the lives and livelihoods of the Filipino people; thus, it deserves a nationwide defiance in all forms to prevent those American mercenaries commit heinous crimes to our country again.” France ended. ###