Fisherfolk slams upcoming Balikatan drill
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday expressed opposition on the upcoming Philippines-United States Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercise which will be held on May this year.
Balikatan is an annual military exercise in the country involving Filipino and American troops as agreed on PH-U.S. military deals like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said they are dismayed by President Rodrigo Duterte for letting the military drill to proceed even if he expressed strong criticisms and statements before against U.S. military presence and intervention in our country.
“President Duterte lacks sincerity on his earlier pronouncements to stop all U.S.-Ph military exercise in the country and that he will make all American troops kicked out from our land,”
“We have been opposing these military drills ever since because this is undeniable state intervention and aggression by U.S. military troops under the guise of “combating terrorism’ and ‘humanitarian and civil assistance’. Today’s Balikatan is a plain and simple case of same wine in a different bottle. This Trump-directed military intervention is no different from previous military drills; one-sided and anti-Filipino defense pact between the Philippines in the United States,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Suspend the ongoing Balikatan 2016 – Fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Thursday calls on the government to suspend the ongoing Balikatan exercises in Panay and Palawan.
The Balikatan exercise is an annual Philippine-US military bilateral training under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the recently passed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) where the US military can station their bases in our country and use our facilities at will.
Pamalakaya maintain that the water-based military drills often result to disruptions on livelihoods of fishers, as every time war games were held in the coastal areas, local governments impose fishing ban to give blanket security to the US troops.
Fisherfolk slammed SC ruling on EDCA
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) denounced the Supreme Courts’ (SC) ruling on the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) yesterday. Voting 10-4, the Supreme Court ruled that EDCA is an Executive Agreement, not a treaty.
The EDCA, which will give more US military access to our sovereignty, was signed on 2014 when United States President Barrack Obama visited the country.
In a statement, Pamalakaya said that US bases will bring fear and havoc to the Filipino people especially to the fisherfolk.