Disentangle from foreign domination – fisherfolk to Duterte
Manila, Philippines – On the occasion of the Independence Day, the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) calls on incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to end all unequal treaties and agreements that trample on our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Our claimed independence is a farce. Until today, 118 years after the Philippines declared independence from Spain and 70 years after the so called granting of Philippine independence by the American colonizers in 1946, the country continue to be the loyal dog tied on a leash to its American master willing to obey at its beck and call. The United States of America continues to control every aspect of our economic, political, military and cultural life as a nation,” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.
With China, another foreign power directly and aggressively claiming our territory, past and the present Aquino government have shown ineptness in defending what is rightfully ours. Eighty (80%) per cent of the West Philippine Sea is irrationally claimed by China, a part of which historically and legally belongs to the Philippines. Several harassments to our fishermen occurred in the midst of Chinese usurpation, resulting to the deprivation of the Filipino fishermen to their livelihoods.
“Filipino fishers are the frontline casualties of this long-territorial conflict, but the outgoing Aquino administration was inutile to face the Chinese invaders or even to provide support to the dispute-affected fishers who were unable to return to their livelihoods for fear of Chinese harassment,” France added.
Amid the rising tension with China, the US purportedly to defend the Philippines from China, dangled the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), an agreement that will provide American troops’ unlimited access to numerous facilities in the country, under the guise of defending our nation. The Philippine government, the ever loyal dog of its American master enacted EDCA. Never mind that the EDCA rides roughshod over our national sovereignty.
“But we know better. EDCA is not to defend the country and the Filipino People. EDCA is for the defense of American interests in the Asia Pacific,” France asserted.
Pamalakaya welcomes Duterte’s anti-imperialist stance but challenge him to walk his talk by resisting foreign powers’ impositions that are detrimental to the interests of the Filipino people. Only by ending the decades-long U.S. dominance can we totally have a genuine independence that our heroes have fought and died for. ###