President Noynoy Aquino

Hands off Benham Rise! – fisherfolk to China and other foreign vessels

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Hands off Benham Rise! – fisherfolk to China and other foreign vessels

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Benham Rise, located at the Eastern part of the country, opposite to the disputed South China Sea | photo by Rappler

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday scolded China for its attempt to occupy the Benham Rise, following its assertion that the Philippines cannot own the 13-million hectare resource-rich water despite the United Nations (U.N.) ruling on 2012.

A defense official last week has reported the presence of a Chinese vessel in Benham Rise, of which Beijing has immediately reacted saying it was just an “innocent passage”.

Benham Rise is located opposite to the disputed waters of South China Sea that has abundant marine resources particularly first-class tuna and untapped minerals and gas deposits.

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said whatever China is planning in our territory, they must drop it off because like the West Philippine Sea which they have been posing their irrational claim, we will again prove that Benham Rise is politically and legally belongs to our country, not to any foreign nations.

They have been claiming and even built artificial islands in the Western part of our exclusive economic territory, they should abort whatever their goal is in our eastern part of the sea. Like the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise belongs to the Filipino people, it is part of our exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf as ruled by the international law,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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Disentangle from foreign domination – fisherfolk to Duterte

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Disentangle from foreign domination – fisherfolk to Duterte

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Incoming President Duterte | Photo courtesy of news.abs-cbn.com

Manila, Philippines – On the occasion of the Independence Day, the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) calls on incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to end all unequal treaties and agreements that trample on our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Our claimed independence is a farce. Until today, 118 years after the Philippines declared independence from Spain and 70 years after the so called granting of  Philippine independence by the American colonizers in 1946, the country continue to be the loyal dog tied on a leash to its American master willing to obey at its beck and call. The United States of America continues to control every aspect of our economic, political, military and cultural life as a nation,” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.

With China, another foreign power directly and aggressively claiming our territory, past and the present Aquino government have shown ineptness in defending what is rightfully ours. Eighty (80%) per cent of the West Philippine Sea is irrationally claimed by China, a part of which historically and legally belongs to the Philippines. Several harassments to our fishermen occurred in the midst of Chinese usurpation, resulting to the deprivation of the Filipino fishermen to their livelihoods.

Filipino fishers are the frontline casualties  of this long-territorial conflict, but the outgoing Aquino administration was inutile to face the Chinese invaders or even to provide support to the dispute-affected fishers who were unable to return to their livelihoods for fear of Chinese harassment,” France added.

Amid the rising tension with China, the US purportedly to defend the Philippines from China, dangled the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), an agreement that will provide American troops’ unlimited access to numerous facilities in the country, under the guise of defending our nation. The Philippine government, the ever loyal dog of its American master enacted EDCA. Never mind that the EDCA rides roughshod over our national sovereignty.

“But we know better. EDCA is not to defend the country and the Filipino People. EDCA is for the defense of American interests in the Asia Pacific,” France asserted.

Pamalakaya welcomes Duterte’s anti-imperialist stance but challenge him to walk his talk by resisting foreign powers’ impositions that are detrimental to the interests of the Filipino people. Only by ending the decades-long U.S. dominance can we totally have a genuine independence that our heroes have fought and died for. ###

Reject revival of Laguna lake mega dike project – fisherfolk to new DPWH Chief

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Reject revival of Laguna lake mega dike project – fisherfolk to new DPWH Chief

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Incoming DPWH Secretary Mark Villar | Photo courtesy of rappler.com

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) urged the incoming Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar to block  the  revival of  the terminated Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP) under the  incoming Duterte administration.

The LLEDP was outgoing President Aquino’s biggest project under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program amounting to P123B. It has two components – a 47 kilometer expressway dike that will start from Muntinlupa, Taguig to Los Banos, Laguna; and the 700 hectare reclamation for mixed use. The project was terminated during Aquino’s term due to bidders’ several concerns and strong resistance from fisherfolk and residents living along the lake.

The DPWH, one of the implementing agencies of the LLEDP, earlier said that they will revive the project during the incoming administration as this is a crucial project in Laguna de Bay.

Noting that Secretary Villar’s family firm was one of the qualified bidders of the defunct project, Pamalakaya  said, all the more  reason for the newly appointed Secretary to obstruct  any attempt to reinstall  the project.

He must disprove that his appointment to the DPWH post will give  his family’s business interests’ advantage  by tightening the noose on any attempt at reviving  the LLEDP, and all the reclamation projects that are destructive to the fishers and the environment.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.

The fisherfolk group claimed that around 3.9 million fisherfolk and urban poor families will be gravely affected if the LLEDP is pursued. This will also put the dying lake into its final death bed. ###

Fisherfolk group lauds Duterte’s move to make fishers return to Scarborough Shoal

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Fisherfolk group lauds Duterte’s move to make fishers return to Scarborough Shoal

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Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) hails presumptive President Duterte’s effort to make the Filipino fishers return to fish in Scarborough Shoal.

Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte made an appeal to the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua to allow Filipino fishermen to continue fishing in the West Philippine Sea.

Pamalakaya said that this is a welcome development for the Filipino fishers who had long been deprived of their traditional fishing grounds due to the dispute. Prior to this, Filipino fishers have been experiencing harassment and intimidation from the Chinese Coast Guards when the former go within the areas China is claiming.

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Pamalakaya to Duterte: Let’s talk fish — Country’s poorest of the poor sector should be one of Duterte’s top priorities on his first 100 days

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Pamalakaya to Duterte: Let’s talk fish

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Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte | Photo courtesy of inquirer.net

Country’s poorest of the poor sector should be one of Duterte’s top priorities on his first 100 days

 

Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) dared the presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to address the enduring poverty among the fisherfolk of our country.

Within the six years of outgoing President Aquino in Malacanang, the fisherfolk suffered the worst poverty among all the poor sectors of the country. By government accounts, 2 out of 5 fishers are gravely suffering from extreme famine or 39.2 percent of fisherfolk survive in less than P50 per day, with nil support from the government.

Pamalakaya lays the blame on the newly-amended Fisheries Code of 1998 on the worsening plight of small scale fishers, denouncing the law as promoting the foreign-plunder of the country’s rich marine and fisheries resources to the detriment of small scale fishers,  who are eased out from and denied access to these resources which are rightfully theirs in the first place. Much worse are the stricter fishing rules and regulations and the exorbitant taxes and fines imposed on fishers under its amendments.

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Pamalakaya 100-day challenge to Duterte: Hold Aquino and his ilk accountable for their crimes

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Pamalakaya 100-day challenge to Duterte: Hold Aquino and his ilk accountable for their crimes

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Presumptive President Duterte and Outgoing President Aquino | Photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

Manila, Philippines – As Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is set to be proclaimed as the new President of the Republic of the Philippines, the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) challenged him to prosecute outgoing President Noynoy Aquino and his unscrupulous officials for the various crimes they have committed against the Filipino people.

Salvador France, Pamalakaya Vice Chairperson said: “We believe in Mayor Duterte’s call for a healing process in the name of unity, but such unity will remain futile and hollow if social justice will not be served.”

The prosecution and eventual imprisonment of Aquino and his ilk should be done not within 6 months but right after Duterte’s first 100 days in the office.

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Pamalakaya slammed Roxas-Robredo for using the fishers, farmers as pawns

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Pamalakaya slammed Roxas-Robredo for using the fishers, farmers as pawns

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LP’s event banner on APRIL 15

Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) lambasted the Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas and his running mate Leni Robredo for using fishermen and farmers as their political pawns for the upcoming elections.

On April 15, the ruling Liberal Party (LP) convened almost 5,000 farmers and fisherfolk in Pasay to enlist their support to the LP’s tandem, peddling the ‘daang matuwid’ as the path for genuine rural development.

But Pamalakaya said that farmers and fishers’ support for LP is beyond the realm of possibility, for those sectors are not oblivious on what the LP especially Roxas have done to inflict more hardships to the already poverty stricken rural  people.

Mar Roxas is delusional and pretentious for thinking that he will get support from the sectors that suffered from the fantasies of ‘daang matuwid’.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.

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