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Remove “utak-pulbura” in the cabinet – fisherfolk group
in response to Defense Chief Lorenzana
Manila, Philippines – “The saying “a fish is caught by its mouth” went right straight with Secretary Lorenzana’s tongue,”
This was the response of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana after he refuted the fisherfolk group’s charge against him for being behind the suspension of the 5th round of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Secretary Lorenzana on Wednesday admitted that “he and other government officials recommended the suspension of peace talks with communist rebels.”
“Now that Secretary Lorenzana has finally confessed that his hands were on the interruption of peace talks, the more we will call for his resignation in order for the peace process to continue and prosper,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA laments the suspension of the 5th round of peace talks when it supposed to discuss the socio-economic reforms including agriculture and rural development and national industrialization that will address the long standing demand of the Filipino people.
The group said Lorenzana’s “recommendatory participation” in the government decision making always leads to suppression of people’s democratic and civil rights. Secretary Lorenzana was behind the declaration of an all-out-war against the communist rebels on February which in practice targets ordinary civilians and unarmed freedom fighters and activists fighting for democratic rights. Lorenzana was also in Russia with President Rodrigo Duterte when the latter declared Martial Law in Mindanao on May 23.
“No one is to blame on this sequence of the government’s militarist rule but the military junta in the Duterte Cabinet headed by Defense Secretary Lorenzana,”
Lorenzana’s presence in the government is detrimental to the peace-loving Filipino people. In order to pursue just and sustainable peace, government officials who are outright militarist and “utak-pulbura” like Lorenzana must be removed,” ended Hicap. ###
Anti-peace Lorenzana should resign over the suspension of 5th round of peace talks – Fisherfolk group
Anti-peace Lorenzana should resign over the suspension of 5th round of peace talks
– Fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday slammed and urged Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to quit his post over the suspension of the 5th round of peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
The 5th round of peace talks was supposed to start on Saturday when the GRP peace panels withdrew from the negotiation as they demand for an “enabling environment conducive to achieving just and sustainable peace in the land”.
For its part, the fisherfolk group said the 5th round of peace talks is one of the extensive parts of the negotiations for it will tackle the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) that will resolve the long-standing problem besetting the Filipino people which are landlessness and lack of adequate jobs.
“It is so unfortunate that the peace talks have been put on hold when it was supposed to discuss the social and economic reforms that include rural development and providing jobs to millions of our people. The suspension of the talks clearly shows that the Duterte administration is not ready to address the long standing clamor of the Filipino people for land and social justice,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Lift Martial Law in Mindanao! – Fisherfolk to Duterte
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday scored President Rodrigo Duterte for declaring Martial Law in Mindanao following the clash between the state forces and the Maute Group in Marawi City yesterday.
The fisherfolk group said military rule even in the past has never resolved any lawless violence in the soil but rather, it creates more human rights abuses and hostilities against ordinary civilians.
“We oppose the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao. This will subject unarmed and ordinary civilians to more human rights abuses, warrantless arrests and filing of trumped up charges perpetrated by the state forces. It will also make the civilian communities a battle ground between the government forces and their alleged ‘enemies’, making the civilians as collateral casualties,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said even with the absence of Martial Law, peasant and Lumad communities that have been fighting for right to land and self determination are highly militarized; activists and peasant leaders are being killed. Now that Martial Law has been declared, it will heighten the dictatorial and suppressive character of the state forces.
The fisherfolk group raises doubt on why the martial rule has been declared in the whole of Mindanao when the clash only occurred in Marawi City.
“We fear that the real score behind Martial Law is to curtail the legitimate struggle of the people in Mindanao for land, justice and peace. President Duterte must unconditionally lift his martial law declaration because it is clearly unjustified and obviously dictated by the warmongering military generals in his Cabinet,” ended Hicap. ###
Fisherfolk welcomes new name of ‘Benham Rise’, calls to strengthen our claim over the plateau
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) welcomes the renaming of Benham Rise to Philippine Rise as a way to exercise our claim over the 13-million hectare resource rich underwater ridge.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed the Executive Order No. 25 renaming the undersea feature.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said a welcome development to assert our rightful claim over the rise. The group urges President Duterte to fortify the protection of our territory from any foreign fishing fleets that exploit our waters and marine resources.
“Whether it is named Benham Rise or Philippine Rise, as long as the government allows foreign commercial fishing vessels to enter our territory, we may not be able to fully utilize our water. What’s in a name when the Filipino fisherfolk are not the ones who benefit from the abundance of our marine territory,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
New demolition order threatens fishing community in Cavite
Maragondon, Cavite – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) decries the recent demolition order served by the Naic Regional Trial Court (RTC) through the residents of Brgy. Patungan, Maragondon Cavite on May 12. Brgy. Patungan or Sta. Mercedes is a 602-hectare fishing community in Maragondon and is a home to more than 300 fisherfolk and peasant families. It is being claimed by the Maria Theresa Virata (MTV) Realty Corp.
Patungan has been sold by the MTV Realty Corp. to Manila Southcoast Development Corp. (MSDC), a developing firm owned by business tycoon Henry Sy who is about to convert Patungan into an eco-tourism hub or extension of his private beach resorts in the adjacent Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas.
PAMALAKAYA recalled the first attempt of demolition on August last year that turned violent when around 800 combined elements of Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Air Force (PAF) and Virata’s private security guards surrounded and harassed the community to execute the demolition. The demolition failed through the strong resistance of the residents who defended their community and houses.
According to Dole Tambungon, a fisherman from Patungan and Spokesperson of PAMALAKAYA in Southern Tagalog, even they have frustrated the demolition attempt, private security guards and numerous police and military elements remain near their community. Tambungon said their presence creates fear and intimidation to the residents.
“If the demolition will proceed, it will displace hundreds of fishing families not only from our homes but also from our livelihood. Our forefathers have been living here for centuries; we will not let any private developing firm to suddenly take what is rightfully and morally ours,” Tambungon said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said they will continue to oppose any reclamation and conversion projects that destroy the marine environment and moreover, the socio-economic rights and welfare of the fisherfolk. ###