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. ###
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.
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,”
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.
Only genuine land reform will bring justice to the slain farmers of #MendiolaMassacre
Mendiola, Manil – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday joined thousands of farmers led by the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in a protest in Mendiola, Manila to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the bloody Mendiola Massacre which occurred on January 22, 1987 in Mendiola, Manila.
Thirty years ago, more than 20,000 farmers marched to Mendiola to call for genuine agrarian reform and better rural living conditions to then-President Corazon Aquino. But instead of heeding their just calls, they were met with gun shots and violence from the state forces, killing 13 farmers and wounding many others.
“The demand that our martyred farmers were calling 30 years ago is still the clamor of the Filipino peasantry up to date. Until now, justice has yet to be served to our peasant martyrs who died in the bloody massacre. Worst is Mendiola massacre-like suppression and violations against our farmers still prevail up to these days,” Salvador France, PAMALAKAYA Secretary General said during the protest.
Citing the data of KMP, around 32 percent or 9.671 million hectares of the country’s land area are agricultural lands of which big landlords still control hundreds of thousands. PAMALAKAYA assailed the widespread land-use conversion wherein vast tracts of agricultural lands cultivated by the farmers are transformed into other purposes like residential, commercial and even government projects, resulting to displacement of the farmers in the countryside.
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. ###