Fisherfolk warns Duterte on Silk Road-deals
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday cautioned President Rodrigo Duterte on the economic and trade deals he would enter with China that could compromise our sovereign and territorial rights.
President Rodrigo Duterte is currently in Beijing for a two-day summit on China’s foreign policy program or the Silk Road dubbed as One Belt, One Road Initiative.
PAMALAKAYA said it is hard to trust that China would benevolently grant billions of dollar aid to the Philippines when we have unresolved issue with the former especially in the disputed West Philippine Sea. Beijing has been posing its irrational claim over our exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf that had resulted to the deprivation of Filipino fishers to enter their traditional fishing ground. Although China has allowed Filipino fisherfolk to fish in Scarborough Shoal since last year, they have yet to completely surrender their claim over the waters; they even continue to build permanent structures in the area.
“Given the unresolved sea row and China’s forceful claim over our water, it is improbable that they will charitably provide assistance to us. We fear that the assistance like infrastructure projects that China has to offer will require our complete surrender of our territory in the West Philippine Sea,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group said history shows that flooding our country with foreign investments does not help our economy to advance; instead, these unfair economic and trade deals retain embedded with foreign investments retain our weak economy backward because we merely rely to foreign aid without developing our own basic industries.
“We urge President Duterte not to get dazzled by China’s billions of aid, instead, he must make good on his promise in pursuing independent foreign policy for genuine development. He must also actively assert our rightful claim in the West Philippine Sea to save our marine resources from further destruction due to China’s rampant reclamation activities,” ended Hicap. ###
Fishers doubt Chinese-backtracking of permanent structure in Panatag Shoal
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) is cynical on China’s recent statement withdrawing the previous reports on its plan to build a permanent structure in the disputed Paracel islands including Philippine-owned Scarborough Shoal.
A Chinese local official last week has claimed that the environmental monitoring structure to be built in Paracel islands is one of Beijing’s top priorities this year. But a Chinese foreign ministry yesterday has denied the previous reports.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said China’s backtracking of their previous pronouncement might only be to abate public tensions and sentiments that escalate quickly over the planned-permanent construction in the Philippine territory.
“The Chinese local official won’t utter a statement out of nowhere; his original pronouncement must be derived from somewhere. Beijing can only prove their sincerity on preserving the South China Sea if they concede from the international tribunal decision and completely halt their reclamation activities on the disputed waters,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Hands off Benham Rise! – fisherfolk to China and other foreign vessels
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday scolded China for its attempt to occupy the Benham Rise, following its assertion that the Philippines cannot own the 13-million hectare resource-rich water despite the United Nations (U.N.) ruling on 2012.
A defense official last week has reported the presence of a Chinese vessel in Benham Rise, of which Beijing has immediately reacted saying it was just an “innocent passage”.
Benham Rise is located opposite to the disputed waters of South China Sea that has abundant marine resources particularly first-class tuna and untapped minerals and gas deposits.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said whatever China is planning in our territory, they must drop it off because like the West Philippine Sea which they have been posing their irrational claim, we will again prove that Benham Rise is politically and legally belongs to our country, not to any foreign nations.
“They have been claiming and even built artificial islands in the Western part of our exclusive economic territory, they should abort whatever their goal is in our eastern part of the sea. Like the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise belongs to the Filipino people, it is part of our exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf as ruled by the international law,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
White House intervention to South China Sea a threat to peaceful settlement with China – fisherfolk group
White House intervention to South China Sea a threat to peaceful settlement with
China – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – Responding from the newly elected United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump, the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) has warned the White House on the possible implications of their intervention on the South China Sea affairs. The White House on Monday vowed to stop China from taking South China Sea islands to “defend international waters from being taken by only one country”.
China claims almost 90% of the South China Sea, of which $5-trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes every year. It has built artificial islands over the contested waters and constructs military facilities and airstrips. Over the years, China has been antagonistic and aggressive towards fishermen who sail within their claimed-territories including the Filipino fisherfolk who experienced violent harassments and intimidations from Chinese personnel.
But due to the continuous resistance of the Filipino people and fishers to uphold its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, China has forced to respect the rights of the Filipino fishers on their traditional fishing ground in Scarborough Shoal. Although Beijing has yet to totally give up its claim on the disputed waters, the Filipino fishers have consider this as an initial victory because they are now able to sail onto their traditional fishing ground which they were deprived for years.
Fisherfolk group hailed the bravery of the Filipino fishers against Chinese invaders
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) applauds the bravery of Filipino fishermen who fought back the Chinese coast guards who drove them away while fishing in the West Philippine Sea on Tuesday.
The Chinese government, through their 9-dash line assumption, is aggressively claiming the West Philippine Sea which is part of the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf (ECS).
“That is the right thing to do. Due to government’s inaction to prevent the Chinese from harassing our people, our small fishers are forced to defend themselves to keep their livelihoods going in the face of China’s antagonistic presence in the West Philippine Sea,” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.