Balikatan exercise impedes fishing activity in Zambales – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) said an undeclared fishing ban in Zambales due to Balikatan exercise is in effect.
Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) is an annual military exercise between the Filipino and American troops as agreed on Philippine-United States military agreements such as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). This year’s Balikatan which is being held in San Antonio, Zambales from May 8-18, consists of almost 5,000 Filipino troops and 3,000 American soldiers, while there are also troops from Australia, Japan, and South Korea as observers.
The fisherfolk group said Balikatan exercises, especially those in coastal areas, are always incorporated with fishing ban to provide blanket security to the American forces. The coastal-based group said the ongoing Balikatan exercise likely affects not less than 20,000 fisherfolk from San Antonio and other neighboring coastal towns in Zambales.
“We condemn this new batch of military drill that sacrifices the socio-economic rights of Filipino fishers only to please the American masters of the Philippine government. No fisherfolk will dare to sail in the militarized waters because Filipino and American soldiers are obviously mobilizing thousands of their troops to impose an intimidating presence among the fishing communities in the province,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement, assailing President Rodrigo Duterte’s subservience to the United States by allowing the American troops to exploit our soil as a mere launching pad for war on aggression.
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. ###
Trump not welcome in Ph – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – “He would be the unwelcome guest, greeted by thousands of enraged Filipino people with protest,”
This was the statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in response to United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump’s approval to Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s invitation to visit Manila on November for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
The fisherfolk group said Trump’s visit to Manila could instigate the intensification of the ongoing deadly war waged by the Duterte regime against the Filipino people, as the U.S. President gave its full blessing to Duterte’s bloodthirsty campaigns, namely, the war against drugs, the anti-insurgency all out war, and the martial law in Mindanao.
“Trump is not welcome in the Philippines. Being a racist and warmonger President, we fear that the ongoing state-sponsored war against Filipinos may intensify the moment he set his foot on our soil by arming the local savage troops with U.S.-made high-powered military armaments,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said the Filipino people have nothing to gain from Trump’s visit; instead it would be nothing nothing but a reassertion of centuries-old colonial control of the U.S. to the country.
“Trump’s visit is part of the United States’ loyalty check if they are still in control of our political, economic, and military affairs. This is to secure that the puppet bureaucrats in the Philippines still advance America’s imperialist interests,” Hicap added.
The group warns of bigger protest actions together with various patriotic organizations to object Trump’s visit on November.
“We vow to stage massive protest actions against the United States’ continuous intervention and to show that we reject any pseudo-assistance that Trump would offer to the country,” ended Hicap.
The group instead calls for the termination of all unequal US-RP military agreements like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that pose serious threat to our national security and sovereignty. ###
Fisherfolk tells Duterte to scrap the 3-year old EDCA
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday called the junking of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), a U.S.-Ph military treaty that was signed under then-President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino” 3 years ago.
EDCA is a supplemental agreement to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that allows American troops to use our land and facilities for free.
The fisherfolk group said it is about time for President Rodrigo Duterte to put his words into actions by cutting ties with our long-time colonizer and exploiter, the United States of America. PAMALAKAYA said Duterte’s previous pronouncements against the U.S. have yet to materialize since he recently allowed another Balikatan exercise between the Filipino and American troops to proceed next month in the guise of “humanitarian and civil assistance”.
“Unequal military agreements like EDCA and VFA allow American troops to violate our sovereign and territorial rights as a nation. It also allows U.S. to store its military armaments in our soil, making us a ground zero and vulnerable to attacks by America’s state enemies,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
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.
U.S. not a reliable ally to defend sovereignty – Duterte told
Manila, Philippines – Reacting from President Rodrigo Duterte questioning the United States (U.S.) on why it didn’t stop China from patrolling and building activities in the disputed West Philippine Sea, the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) said this flaunts how unequal our military agreements with the U.S. are.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said that since the sea row happens, the U.S. has repeatedly said that it won’t engage in any military activity against China. The fisherfolk group stressed how the U.S. owes trillions of dollars to China with billions of dollars of direct investments to make Washington take up the cudgels in defense of our waters at the cost of breaching its economic relations with Beijing.
“We tell President Duterte to stop indulging in daydreams; a powerful nation like the United States would not cross swords with a country where it is a huge debtor and has more economic interest over our parcel of islands. This is a clear indication that now is the time to disentangle from all unequal military pacts with the U.S. and pursue our own because nothing but the Filipino people can unconditionally die for our own country, not the U.S. posturing to be our long-time trusted ally,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group urged President Duterte to scrap all the existing military agreements with the U.S. including the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) because it makes our country as a mere U.S. springboard and pawn to maintain and secure its hegemony and economic and political interests over the Asia.
“President Duterte must lead in defending our territory. He must actively assert to China our legal and rightful claim on the disputed waters as peaceful as possible, as diplomatic as necessary,” Hicap said.
China previously stated its plan to build permanent structure in the Paracel islands including the Philippine-owned Scarborough Shoal. But latest statement from Beijing refuted their previous report.
Fisherfolk wants Defense Chief Lorenzana to resign
Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) demands the immediate resignation of Department of Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for he is the United States (U.S.) front man actor to maintain the latter’s hegemony and control over our sovereignty.
The fisherfolk group said Lorenzana has finally convinced President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the construction of U.S. military facilities in our land under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
“The defense Chief has finally twisted the President’s arm! Lorenzana’s lust to maintain the U.S. military presence and aid in the country has finally pays off after some begging,”