Placing PRA under Office of the President to expedite Manila Bay reclamation – fisherfolk 

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February 4, 2019DSC_2840.JPG
Placing PRA under Office of the President to expedite Manila Bay reclamation – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines — “It is only becoming more and more apparent that behind the efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay is the Duterte government’s cynical plan to further privatize it in a form of an environmentally-destructive reclamation,” According to the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) reacting to the move of President Rodrigo Duterte to transfer power of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to approve reclamation to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), and placing the latter from the supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the Office of the President (OP) through an Executive Order  No. 74.
Although PAMALAKAYA supports rehabilitation of Manila Bay, the fisherfolk group said the Duterte’s recent move has only raised doubt from the fishing sector about the real score of the unprecedented government campaign to rehabilitate Manila Bay.
“This newly-signed executive order will hasten not only the approval of reclamation projects in Manila Bay and throughout the archipelago, but as well as the destruction of marine environment and displacement of fishing communities,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said.
PAMALAKAYA has recorded a total of 43 reclamation projects from the PRA that will cover almost 30,000 hectares of waters of Manila Bay, including the 3 reclamation projects recently approved by the local government of Manila.
“By signing the EO, the Duterte government openly admits to the public that the Manila Bay clean-up drive will only be a waste of public funds and government efforts because they will open the historic bay for business and commercial transformation afterwards,”
“We reiterate our position of support to the Manila Bay rehabilitation as long as we are assured that reclamation will not push through and that no single coastal family will be forcibly displaced from their community,” ended Hicap. ###

Bacoor fishers picketed DENR’s ‘public scoping’ for reclamation

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January 24, 2019

Bacoor fishers picketed DENR’s ‘public scoping’ for reclamation

Bacoor, Cavite – Carrying with them placards that say “Yes to Rehabilitation, No to Reclamation”, fisherfolk and local residents under the local chapter of the fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) protested the Public Scoping held by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at the Bacoor City Hall Gymnasium on Thursday.

The said public scoping was for the proposal of the local government unit of Bacoor, Cavite to reclaim 320-hectare Bacoor and Development Project and another 100-hectare Diamond Reclamation and Development Project along Manila Bay within the municipal waters of Bacoor, City.

Public scoping is an early stage of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) where the proponents aim to provide an overview of the proposed project before the stakeholders.

Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor, PAMALAKAYA’s municipal chapter, denounced the reclamation project by submitting their position paper and petition letter signed by thousands of coastal residents who will be affected by the 420-hectare reclamation project to the DENR.

420 hectares of our productive fishing waters will be transformed into commercial and industrial hub; while at least 7, 000 fishing and urban poor families will be effectively displaced and affected by the plan of LGU to reclaim Manila Bay. The relocation sites that they offer will never be enough because it is always far from civilization with no market, hospitals, and schools nearby; unlike in our present community where almost everybody can fish,” Myrna Candinato, President of Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor said.

Candinato, who is already living with her family in Barangay Maliksi III for decades now, owns a mussel farm that is only enough to send her grandchildren to school. Candinato, along with other mussel growers and municipal fisherfolk in Bacoor fear that they may not be able to fish anymore once the DENR grants the LGU’s reclamation project with environmental permit and area clearance.

The fisherfolk group also raised suspicion that the assembly was only a ‘formalization’ process to make it appear that there was a public consultation happened but in actual reality, there might be already a done deal between the DENR and LGU to push through with the reclamation project.

The DENR must heed the fishers’ call to refrain from facilitating processes of reclamation including this public scoping. It is not enough that the DENR will only publicly announce that they will not let reclamation projects when what happens in the ground is that they provide venue to proponents to present such projects. This is not the rehabilitation we want for Manila Bay, but a genuine one that will benefit us,” ended Candinato. ###

Manila Bay fishers protested Manila Bay reclamation disguised as ‘rehabilitation’

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Manila Bay fishers protested DENR’s pseudo-rehabilitation

January 18, 2019

Manila Bay fishers protested Manila Bay reclamation disguised as ‘rehabilitation’

Manila, Philippines – Manila Bay fishers under the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday trooped the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) head office to protest the pseudo-rehabilitation of Manila Bay that includes demolition of at least 300, 000 fisherfolk and settlers.

PAMALAKAYA, along with the residents of Manila Bay and environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment urged environment secretary Roy Cimatu to craft a genuine rehabilitation program that will restore Manila Bay back to its traditional use as fishing grounds, and not to further transform it into a vast commercial and tourism hub at the expense of its marine ecosystem and hundreds of thousands of population residing around it.

Manila Bay is deteriorating, don’t get us wrong. We are the ones who suffer from the effects of its environmental degradation on a regular fishing basis. But wiping us out from Manila Bay to give way for its further privatization will do more harm to its ecosystem than good. Ever since that reclamation and conversion have become the government and corporate craze, massive mangrove forests have been uprooted and productive coral reefs were destroyed. Fish catch has dramatically declined to 2-5 kilos every fishing trip,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson and a fisherman in Manila Bay lamented during the protest.

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Fishers urged DENR to declare Manila Bay a ‘reclamation-free zone’

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January 14, 2019

Fishers urged DENR to declare Manila Bay a ‘reclamation-free zone’

Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to perform its mandate in protecting the environment, including the Manila Bay by declaring it as a reclamation-free zone. This, the group added, is to effectively rehabilitate one of the country’s major fishing grounds which currently suffer from environmental degradation stage caused by past and present privatization projects.

The fisherfolk group earlier lambasted the DENR for using the issue of pollution to demolish hundreds of thousands of residents, mostly fisherfolk and pave way for large-scale land reclamation projects. PAMALAKAYA casts doubt on the seriousness of the DENR to rehabilitate Manila Bay, when the said agency has keep on facilitating processes of reclamation, including providing environmental permits to proponents and private developers.

Just last week, one of our municipal chapters had acquired a notice of public scoping from the DENR to facilitate the proposal of a local government unit to reclaim 420 hectares of Manila Bay in the part of Bacoor, Cavite. While environment secretary Roy Cimatu blames Manila Bay residents of disposing garbage and domestic wastes in the sea, he failed to address on the other hand the lethal risk of massive reclamation projects to the marine environment and ecosystem. Reclamation has caused the traditional fish and shellfish species in Manila Bay to get extinct because coral reefs and mangrove forests have been destroyed to give way to commercial business districts and private establishments which only benefit giant businesses,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

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“Duterte is the number one terrorist, threat to peace in the country” – fisherfolk group

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Duterte is the number one terrorist, threat to peace in the country” – fisherfolk

Thousands marched on the occasion of international human rights day to call for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte


Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on the occasion of international human rights day officially declared President Rodrigo Duterte as the number one terrorist in the country for terrorizing the lives of the Filipino people, including killing thousands of innocent civilians in line with his bloody war on drugs and counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan.

Fisherfolk from Manila Bay joined thousands of activists led by human rights group Karapatan Alliance For The Advancement of People’s Rights on Sunday to expose the Duterte regime’s human rights abuses among ordinary civilians especially those who are staunch critics of his administration, now labeled by Duterte as “terrorists”.

PAMALAKAYA also denounced the killing of Aldrin Sese, the group’s provincial organizer in Masbate and was a member of its national council. Sese was gunned down by unknown gunmen last December 8 at 5am. Sese is the 3rd fisherfolk to be killed under Duterte’s counterinsurgency program.

We call justice for Aldrin Sese! He was an active member of PAMALAKAYA and a fisherfolk organizer in the province of Masbate wherein the implementation of repressive fishing laws under the Fisheries Code of 1998 and conversion of fishing grounds into eco-tourism zones are highly prevalent. Sese was killed in line with President Duterte’s threat against legal activists whom he maliciously labeled as terrorists,”

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Fishers warn of great resistance against the monstrous, mad king in Malacanang

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Fishers warn of great resistance against the monstrous, mad king in Malacanang

Activists stage indignation rally in QC to condemn recent killings of church people

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) slams the incessant violations of civil and political rights perpetrated by President Rodrigo Duterte through his bloodlust military and security forces.

Citing the data of human rights group Karapatan, as of November 2017, there are a total of 113 cases of extrajudicial killings (EJK) against political and human rights activists. 96 of those documented cases came from the peasant sector including the 2 fisherfolk leaders who were killed by elements of military in Guihulngan, Negros Occidental last July 24.

All the cases of EJKs are connected with the peasant’s struggle for their right to land and resistance against plunderous corporate projects in their farming and fishing communities.

Farmers and fishers in the countryside who actively organize their ranks to oppose destructive corporate and government projects are being publicly red-tagged by the state forces as supporters or members of the armed group New People’s Army (NPA). Are they saying that membership from the NPA is the requirement to criticize and oppose the wrongdoings of the government and to defend our basic rights? We always live in fear of being displaced from our communities in exchange for corporate projects and if we resist, we will be subjected to military harassment,”

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Duterte’s surrender of West Ph Sea is treason – fisherfolk

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File photo of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shown the way by Chinese President Xi Jinping before a signing ceremony held in Beijing
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) is shown the way by Chinese President Xi Jinping before a signing ceremony held in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016. To match Special Report PHILIPPINES-DRUGS/CHINA REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool/File Photo

West Ph Sea is treason – fisherfolk

Manila, Philippines – With President Rodrigo Duterte’s major setback on the issue of the sea row, he is guilty of treason for his lack of action to assert West Philippine Sea to China equates to total surrender of our sovereignty, according to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas).

Contrary to President Duterte’s promise before he assumed office that “he will ride a jet ski and would plant a Philippine flag” in Panatag Shoal, the President seems to soften his approach towards China; he does not recognize our winning to the international tribunal favoring the Philippines’ claim over the West Philippine Sea that China has been claiming over the last two decades.

The group said China continues to assert its 9-dash line assumption and has yet to stop its reclamation activities within the 80% of our exclusive economic zones (EEZ) that are all intended for military use and outpost. Presence of Chinese vessels is still evident in the area, causing fear and intimidation to Filipino fishermen.

PAMALAKAYA, although welcomes the return of Filipino fishermen in the disputed waters, still fears that China would anytime return in being hostile towards Filipino fisherfolk.

The group attributes President Duterte’s surrender of sovereignty to his flagship program known as the Build, Build, Build (BBB), a set of infrastructure projects that are entirely backed by Chinese loans. China is the second, next to Japan, foreign lender to fund big-ticket projects under the BBB, including the P10B-loan for Kaliwa Dam project.

President Duterte has compromised our sovereignty in exchange for billions of Chinese loans that will mold his big-ticket BBB projects. We are afraid waking up one day and found out the entire West Philippine Sea is all gone,”

Chinese loan grant is neither out of kindness nor a fraternal help; it is shaped by China’s territorial and economic interest in the Philippines which President Duterte has failed to notice,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement. ###