Fisherfolk to US: Hands off Scarborough issue!
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) lashes out at the United States (U.S.) for interfering on the Scarborough Shoal issue even as the Philippines and China has initially resolved the dispute.
The U.S. yesterday said it will verify the report of the Philippine Coast Guard that Chinese fleets have not been sighted at Scarborough Shoal since Wednesday.
“Why would the U.S. even bother to verify if this is true? They have nothing to do anymore in the issue of the dispute much more now that we have partially settled it without their help. We urge the United States to take its warmongering-hands off the Scarborough Shoal issue. Their continuous meddling might pose flaws on our peaceful and diplomatic talks with Beijing,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.
Since Tuesday, Filipino fishermen have been able to return and fish in the Scarborough Shoal after President Duterte’s state visit to China on October 18-21. The Philippines and China have yet to form an official agreement on the use of Scarborough but Pamalakaya seen this as a welcome development after China had aggressively occupied the West Philippine Sea on 2012, harassing and preventing Filipino fishermen from sailing onto their traditional fishing grounds.
“We have proved that we can resolve an external conflict on our own without having to rely from other country’s military support especially from the United States. Letting the U.S. meddle in the issue will bring back the tensions with China so it is better to keep them out of bounds,”
“We call on all the patriotic forces to actively condemn the U.S. intervention both on our external and internal affairs and frustrate its planned sabotage on our peaceful conclusion with the sea row in the name of maintaining their military and economic shift to the region,” Hicap ended. ###