Fisherfolk rejects 2018 US military war games
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday slammed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Eduardo Año for soliciting military assistance to the United States (U.S.) in the form of Balikatan exercise or war games.
The AFP chief of staff announced a total of 261 agreed joint US-RP military activities after his visit to the U.S. last week for the Mutual Defense Board meeting.
In a statement, the fisherfolk group accused the General Año of being the America’s emissary to the country in order to execute war games that advance the U.S. geopolitical interest in the region while violating the country’s sovereign and territorial rights.
The group strongly opposes war games under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) for its unequal and one-sided provisions.
“American troops who commit crimes in our soil can easily get away with it because of these unfair military agreements. We fear for another Nicole and Jennifer Laude incidents because of this another set of military exercise,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said President Rodrigo Duterte is following the footsteps of his predecessor Benigno Aquino III of increasing the U.S. military presence in the country at the cost of our sovereign rights and security of the Filipino people.
“President Duterte is embracing the same military policy that former President Aquino had carried out. Apparently, Duterte is now the number one lapdog of the country that he used despise,”
“After all the cuss and tirades against the U.S., in the end, it all leads to sheer puppetry,” Hicap added.
The group instead calls for the scrapping of all unequal military pacts with the United States and to totally kick out American troops in the Philippine soil. ###
PAMALAKAYA condemns killing of fisherfolk leader in Negros Oriental
Manila, Philippines – Fisherfolk leader Roberto Tecson was shot dead yesterday in their house in Brgy. Bulado, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental in front of his children. Tecson was the Chairperson of the municipal chapter of fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Guihulngan City.
According from the report of human rights group KARAPATAN Negros Island, past 10:00 in the evening yesterday, Tecson was gunned down by 6 riding in tandem wearing bonnets. Also according to his wife Lorna, on July 23, day before the incident happened, members of the Philippine Army under the 79th Infantry Battalion were hunting Roberto, accusing him of transporting armed groups using his pump boat. On July 24, hours before the incident, the military returned to the community and looked for him while his wife the protest rally for President Rodrigo Duterte’s 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA).
PAMALAKAYA in a statement claimed that Tecson was a legitimate and active member of PAMALAKAYA who led his fellow fisherfolk in the community in the campaign against repressive provisions of the amended Fisheries Code or Republic Act 10654. This includes exorbitant fines and fees, and strict fishing rules imposed among small fisherfolk.
“While President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his state of the nation address, his trigger-happy military forces were following the call of duty to silence and kill the dissents. We strongly condemn this state-perpetrated killing of our fisherfolk leader,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
The group slams President Duterte’s total war declaration against the revolutionary movement which actually targets unarmed and ordinary mass movements and activist leaders.
“This culture of impunity and climate of injustice are prevalent under the Duterte administration who just declared a total war against the Filipino people especially among the ranks of farmers and fishers who resist oppressive government laws and programs and assert their civil rights,”
“The declaration of total war is embedded with heavy deployment of military in the rural communities that always results to grave human rights abuses against ordinary civilians,” Hicap said.
The fisherfolk group said this recent incident strengthens their call for the resumption of the peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Duterte government to attain lasting peace that is based on justice.
“We demand justice for our slain fisherfolk leader. We want justice for all the victims of political related killings and persecution under this administration,” ended Hicap. ###
U.S. Pentagon runs AFP – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – With the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continuation of its hostilities in the countryside despite the ongoing peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), it is crystal clear that President Rodrigo Duterte is out of hand with his armed troops, said the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday.
The fisherfolk group slams the AFP for its ongoing presence in Brgy. Patungan, a 602-hectare coastal community in Maragondon, Cavite where 353 fisherfolk families have been facing a threat of demolition since last year to pave way for private beach resort of the Maria Teresa Virata (MTV) Corp.
On Friday, the regional chapter of PAMALAKAYA in Southern Tagalog reported the presence of around 80 combination of Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Air Force (PAF) in the community. The residents feared the presence of the armed troops might lead to another violent demolition attempt like what happened last year.
Anti-peace high-ranking generals operate in the AFP – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (AFP) scores some of the high-ranking Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Generals for sabotaging the ongoing peace negotiation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The fisherfolk group pinned AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Ano and Department of National Defense (DND) Delfin Lorenzana as the top two powerful generals who work hard to obstruct the just and lasting peace in the country through addressing its root causes like poverty and injustice.
Both the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the GRP have lifted their respective unilateral ceasefire declarations after the Duterte government has failed to make up on its promise to release hundreds of political prisoners and with the continuing military operations and harassments in the countryside despite the unilateral ceasefire.
“If President Duterte lets hard-line militarist AFP generals encroach in the peace process, then peace that we all long for and we worked hard for months is unlikely to take place. President Duterte should listen to the Filipino people and not to what these anti-peace AFP generals prescribe,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Get rid of peace-saboteurs in the AFP – fisherfolk to President Duterte
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) slams the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on its continues military operations in peasant communities in the countryside, saying it poses threat to livelihood and security of the farmers and other rural people.
Amid peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the GRP’s armed forces have been vehemently attacking active members of mass organizations in the countryside including peasant leaders.
“It seems that AFP has its own regime. The continuous military operation in the countryside amidst GRP’s unilateral ceasefire is a clear indication that the Duterte administration loses its control over its armed forces. The AFP may be obeying orders from different commander-in-chief,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Farmers, fishers want AFP out of their communities
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) joined the protest led by the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) at the general headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday to demand the immediate and unconditional pullout of their troops in peasant communities in the countryside, saying their presence pose threat to the security and livelihood of the farmers and other rural people.
PAMALAKAYA said continuing presence of military in the countryside is a blatant violation of their self-declared unilateral ceasefire against the communist-led New People’s Army (NPA) because they are supposed to be in the military barracks and not operating in the alleged guerilla zone-peasant communities. The fisherfolk group blasted the AFP for the rampant human rights abuses against farmers they tag as communist member or even supporter.
“The military’s failure and frustration to capture their enemies is always diverted into the farmers and innocent civilians through harassment, filing of trumped up charges and worst, perpetrating extrajudicial killings with impunity. The continuing and growing militarization will always be a threat to the peaceful and tranquil lives of the rural people as the AFP’s current orientation is not to protect but to suppress the democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people,” Salvador France, Pamalakaya Secretary General said during the protest.
The fisherfolk group said the AFP has now nothing to do with the countryside as their counterinsurgency plan Oplan Bayanihan has already ended since last year.
Farmers from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon regions will converge on January 20 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the bloody Mendiola Massacre that killed 13 farmers and wounding many others who were asking for free distribution of land. ###
Fisherfolk rejects return of martial law
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday criticized the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he will declare martial law if situation in the country becomes “virulent” and in order to “preserve the nation”. The fisherfolk group said declaration of martial law will once again lead to military dictatorship embedded with various human rights abuses against innocent civilians.
“The hands of the armed forces are already tainted with blood, their institution is already embedded with human rights violations and impunity, we fear that bringing back the military rule would heighten the dictatorial character of the already fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said Duterte should retain on his pronouncement before that he will not declare martial law because nothing happened during those dark days. Martial law will never be the solution to resolve ills of the society like proliferation of illegal drugs and crimes. The fisherfolk group said President Duterte should instead address why these anti-social activities prevail in the present societal system.
“Poverty, injustice and the government’s bureaucratic system should be addressed in order to resolve the persistent societal ill in the country instead of putting back the nation into military rule. Never again that we will allow those armed-fatigue men to impose their fascist rule in our country,”
“The Filipino people have surpassed the martial law and toppled a dictator before, we will again do so have this purported plot for martial law would become imminent and in the name of preserving the basic rights of the Filipino people,” Hicap ended. ###