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. ###
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.
Out of the blue, Filipino fishers trooped BFAR, DENR on the occasion of World Fisheries Day
Manila, Philippines – On the occasion of the World Fisheries Day, fisherfolk from different regions under the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) yesterday trooped the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to protest their current situation under the existing fisheries laws and programs imposed by the said government agencies.
On 19-21 of November, fisherfolk leaders from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao gathered in Quezon City on a three-day National Fish Consultation on Coastal Resource Management to share their respective local issues and struggles in their fishing communities. Based on the issues shared by the delegates, widespread reclamation and conversion of fishing waters are prevalent all over the country. Also, they lamented the adverse effects of the amended Fisheries Code in their livelihood.
According to them, exorbitant fees and taxes are imposed even to the smallest fisherfolk who can’t even gain a sustainable income on a daily basis. Amended fisheries code does not actually prohibit commercial fishing vessels to go within the 15-kilometer municipal fishing zones but rather it further the corruption among the enforcers and local government units.
12 years after the massacre, Luisita farmers still clamor for land, justice
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) joined various organizations on a 3-day People’s Cultural Caravan for Land, Justice and Peace in Hacienda Luisita to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the bloody massacre against the farm workers which occurred on November 12, 2004.
On November 16, 2004, when the farm workers in Hacienda Luisita launched a massive strike, military and police violently dispersed the protest, killing seven farm workers and injuring more than a hundred others.
The said caravan, dubbed as Remember Luisita was led by the agricultural workers’ organization Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) which started from 14-16 November.
PAMALAKAYA condemned both the past Arroyo and Aquino administration for failing to hold all those involved in the gruesome crime accountable including Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Generals Ricardo Visaya and Gregorio Catapang, who both became top AFP Generals during then-President Aquino’s term.
Noynoy Aquino and friends responsible for Yolanda-rehab mess – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – Three years after the super-typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) struck the country, thousands of victims still live in high risk courtesy of then President Noynoy Aquino and his yellow-cohort’s incompetence and criminal negligence in facing the aftermath of the super-typhoon, according to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA).
Super-typhoon Yolanda ravaged large part of the Visayan Region affecting millions of families and left almost 6,000 people dead.
Government data available shows that out of the 205, 128 target permanent houses by the National Housing Authority (NHA), only 19, 330 were completed as of first quarter of this year. This is amidst the pouring donations and aid coming from different organizations and countries.
“Almost a billion of dollars were reportedly spent years after the super-typhoon to rehabilitate and reconstruct the devastated lives of the victims yet the latter are still languishing for the reconstruction and rebuilding their damaged houses and rehabilitation of their affected livelihood,”