Duterte’s surrender of
West Ph Sea is treason – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – With President Rodrigo Duterte’s major setback on the issue of the sea row, he is guilty of treason for his lack of action to assert West Philippine Sea to China equates to total surrender of our sovereignty, according to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas).
Contrary to President Duterte’s promise before he assumed office that “he will ride a jet ski and would plant a Philippine flag” in Panatag Shoal, the President seems to soften his approach towards China; he does not recognize our winning to the international tribunal favoring the Philippines’ claim over the West Philippine Sea that China has been claiming over the last two decades.
The group said China continues to assert its 9-dash line assumption and has yet to stop its reclamation activities within the 80% of our exclusive economic zones (EEZ) that are all intended for military use and outpost. Presence of Chinese vessels is still evident in the area, causing fear and intimidation to Filipino fishermen.
PAMALAKAYA, although welcomes the return of Filipino fishermen in the disputed waters, still fears that China would anytime return in being hostile towards Filipino fisherfolk.
The group attributes President Duterte’s surrender of sovereignty to his flagship program known as the Build, Build, Build (BBB), a set of infrastructure projects that are entirely backed by Chinese loans. China is the second, next to Japan, foreign lender to fund big-ticket projects under the BBB, including the P10B-loan for Kaliwa Dam project.
“President Duterte has compromised our sovereignty in exchange for billions of Chinese loans that will mold his big-ticket BBB projects. We are afraid waking up one day and found out the entire West Philippine Sea is all gone,”
“Chinese loan grant is neither out of kindness nor a fraternal help; it is shaped by China’s territorial and economic interest in the Philippines which President Duterte has failed to notice,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement. ###