“Duterte is the number one terrorist, threat to peace in the country” – fisherfolk
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,”
Fishers warn of great resistance against the monstrous, mad king in Malacanang
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,”
Duterte’s surrender of
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. ###
LLDA, DENR Laguna Lake rehab plan a hypocritical solution – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Sunday dismissed the government’s rehabilitation plan in Laguna de Bay which is only to strictly implement sewage treatment facilities of thousands of industries situated along the lake.
In a hearing deliberation regarding Laguna Lake rehabilitation held in the House of Representatives last week, officials of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) claimed that among their long-term solution on the deteriorating Laguna de Bay is to strictly enforce the effluent standards for wastewater discharge, which means factories will still be able to discharge toxic chemical wastes into the lake as long as they comply with the policy.
For its part, PAMALAKAYA lambasted the LLDA, an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for overlooking on the real issue on why the Laguna de Bay has been deteriorating, saying any solution proposed by the LLDA and DENR would always remain futile if they fail to tackle the issue of the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure (NHCS), a flood control structure located at Napindan Channel in Taguig, City.
Napindan Channel is the only outlet of the lake to Manila Bay, but since the construction of the NCHS, saltwater from Manila Bay has been blocked from entering the Laguna de Bay, causing the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake to gradually deteriorate.
“Saltwater is highly essential to Laguna de Bay because first and foremost, it is a brackish lake that is basically a mixture of freshwater and saltwater. So preventing the entry of saltwater into the lake effectively changes its ecological balance and poses adverse effects to its aquatic ecosystem. Concrete example on the negative impacts of the Napindan structure is the proliferation of invasive fish species in the lake such as the snake turtle, knife fish, and janitor fish; all of these impair the fishing activities of small-fisherfolk,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement, noting that around 20 fish species no longer exist in the lake since the construction of the NHCS in 1983.
The group said however strict the LLDA would impose the effluent standards, as long as thousands of small and big-time enterprises consistently use the water of Laguna de Bay for their cooling machines, the lake would still remain polluted as ever.
“We are unbent from our position that the real and comprehensive solution to rehabilitate the dying Laguna de Bay is to let saltwater mingle into its waters by permanently opening the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure. We challenge both the DENR and LLDA, open the NHCS in a period of not less than 6 months and let them observe how the lake will return to its bountiful stage and traditional fish species live in prosper,” ended Hicap. ###
Bonifacio-inspired Filipinos to topple Duterte’s pseudo-revolutionary government
Manila, Philippines – On the occasion of the 154th birth anniversary of the late revolutionary Gat Andres Bonifacio, the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) expressed its strong disapproval on President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to declare a “revolutionary government”, saying such plan is nothing but a one-man rule in disguise.
PAMALAKAYA refutes President Duterte’s revolutionary government, saying a government which is composed of former military generals is no revolutionary but a “military junta”.
“Duterte’s concept of revolutionary government is the misnomer of a true revolutionary system that does not oppress its people; a government that upholds the welfare and basic rights of workers, peasants, and other marginalized sectors. No revolutionary if majority of your officials came from fascists and bloodlust military personnel. There is nothing revolutionary if you advocate wanton killings of human rights workers, freedom fighters, and innocent civilians,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said that with Duterte’s formal termination of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) following the crackdown against legal activists, it is high time to further expose and isolate the Duterte regime’s aspiration to declare a nationwide one-man rule under the guise of “revolutionary government”.
“The only way to hinder Duterte’s foolish plan to declare a revolutionary government is to remove his from power. The legacy and revolutionary consciousness of Gat Andres Bonifacio continue to influence millions of Filipino people who aspire for a genuine independence and freedom from any form of expression. The true revolutionaries are out here in the streets, in the countryside; and they are ever ready to fight and topple this pseudo-revolutionary in Malacañan,” ended Hicap. ###
Laguna Lakeshore Road Project nixed
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) together with its ally environmental group Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) oppose the Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project, a proposed road project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that would connect Metro Manila to key provincial areas situated along the Laguna de Bay.
The P50-billion road project, according to DPWH, would span 90 kilometers and will link Bicutan in Taguig City to Los Banos, Laguna and several parts of the Rizal province. Its implementation period will start from 2018 to 2026.
For their part, PAMALAKAYA and SLLM said in a joint statement that the road project is a pretext to the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP), a P122.8-billion privatization project that was opposed and thwarted by the fisherfolk, environmentalists, and residents of Laguna de Bay during the term of then-President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino for its disastrous effects to the environment and the fishers.
“The newly-proposed road project in Laguna Lake is nothing but a government’s ploy to complete its longstanding LLEDP dream. Because the LLEDP has been widely exposed to the public of its catastrophic effect to the environment and livelihood of the fisherfolk, the government comes up with a new, different name to pacify the outrage of the people,”
Stop wall-installation in Navotas, Congressman Tiangco urged
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday urged Navotas City Representative Tobias “Toby” Tiangco to order a stop on the installation of fences and markers along the shoreline of Navotas City as part of the Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP) reclamation project.
The Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP) is a 650-hectare reclamation project in Navotas City intended for commercial and mixed use.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA accused the Tiangco clans of conniving with the Triple One Construction, the proponent of the reclamation project, to eliminate and replace more than 20,000 fishing families with eco-tourism zones.
“It seems that my former colleague in the Congress has already entered a done deal with the proponent of the Navotas reclamation. There is something fishy with the town’s local political clan because until now, they have yet to give any comment on the calls of the Navotas fisherfolk to put a stop on the reclamation project,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson and former Anakpawis Party-list solon said in a statement.
The group claimed that the Tiangco clan is behind the spate of harassments led by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) among their local members. Elements of MARINA have been conducting house-to-house operations threatening PAMALAKAYA leaders and members not to attend organizational activities or else their fishing boats will be impounded by the authority.
“Tiangco is using the MARINA to impose fear among the fisherfolk and Navotas residents who exercise their constitutional freedom to assembly and those who defend their rights to fishing waters. We strongly condemn Congressman Tiangco and his brother City Mayor John Rey Tiangco at the strongest terms,”
“Congressman Tiangco is all wrong if he thinks that threatening the fisherfolk would stop them to fight for what is rightfully theirs; we will heighten our unity and resistance against the destructive reclamation project in Navotas and in the whole Manila Bay,” ended Hicap. ###