UNCLOS

BFAR’s submissive statement in Benham Rise hit

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BFAR’s submissive statement in Benham Rise hit050112 Benham Rise 1

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday lashed out at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) over its clumsy statement regarding China’s research plan in the Philippine Rise (formerly known as Benham Rise).

This wasn’t what we want to hear from the Bureau of Fisheries who is supposed to be in the frontline of defending Philippine Rise’s marine resources. After some time of keeping mum in the midst of the raging controversy regarding the Philippine Rise, the BFAR just finally came out but with a cowardly submissive position,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

According to BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona during a round-table discussion last week, the issue is “not confrontational” and that it is okay for us to share resources with China to supply its citizens with our marine products. But the group said the agreement between the Philippine government and Beijing has only reached a joint research, not a sharing of resources.

BFAR has already offered the sharing of resources when the Philippine government and China have only achieved a joint research agreement in the first place.The country has yet to fully tap the resources in Philippine Rise, so why would we let other countries to lead the exploration and exploitation,” added Hicap.

Philippine Rise is a 13-million-hectare resource rich underwater plateau located opposite to the disputed South China Sea, it has been declared by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in April 2012 as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Through the Executive Order No. 25 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in May last year, the undersea feature has been renamed from Benham Rise to Philippine Rise.

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“Speak up on Benham Rise issue!” – DENR, BFAR told

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“Speak up on Benham Rise issue!” – DENR, BFAR told

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Retired armed forces chief, Roy Cimatu (L), head of the Philippines’ Iraqi crisis management team, confers with National Security Adviser Roilo Golez during a briefing at the National Security Council in suburban Quezon, north of Manila, 11 March 2003. Cimatu has instructed the Philippine embassy staff in Baghdad to relocated to Amman in Jordan amid signs of an imminent US-led war on Iraq. AFP PHOTO/JAY DIRECTO / AFP PHOTO / JAY DIRECTO

Manila, Philippines – “In the midst of the raging controversy regarding the Philippine Rise, the deafening silence of two government lead agencies, namely, the BFAR and the DENR is utterly disappointing,” according to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas), urging the two agencies to speak up and make a stand against the government’s sell-out of our marine territory.

The group said Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are supposed to be at the forefront of conducting research in the fishing resources and management of the marine biodiversity of the rise.

Philippine Rise is a 13-million-hectare resource rich underwater plateau located opposite to the disputed South China Sea, it has been declared by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in April 2012 as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Through the Executive Order No. 25 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in May last year, the undersea feature has been renamed from Benham Rise to Philippine Rise.

Aside from China, the Duterte administration has approved research applications from several countries such as Japan, United States, and South Korea; which was opposed by the fishers group, saying it is a gross violation of our patrimony and tantamount to surrender of sovereign rights.

The fisherfolk group noted that BFAR and DENR have already conducted exploratory trips and research on the plateau before.

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Develop local marine science and fishing industry, not “joint research” with China – fisherfolk

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Develop local marine science and fishing industry, not “joint research” with China –

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Philippine Rise | Photo by Interaksyon.com

fisherfolk

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday said that by promoting and developing the local marine science industry, we could utilize and exploit the Philippine Rise on our own even without the help of China which has a vested interest over the 13-million-hectare underwater plateau.

Philippine Rise is a 13-million-hectare resource rich underwater plateau located opposite to the disputed South China Sea, it has been declared by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in April 2012 as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Through the Executive Order No. 25 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in May last year, the undersea feature has been renamed from Benham Rise to Philippine Rise.

A joint research between the Philippines and China has been approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which was opposed by the fishers group, saying the joint research blanketed with the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) is a pretext of China for another occupation activity in our marine territory.

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China’s intrusion should top the agenda in the ASEAN meet – fisherfolk

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China’s intrusion should top the agenda in the ASEAN meet – fisherfolk

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to their bilateral meetings at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 20. Photo by King Rodriguez/PPD

Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Saturday urged Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayteno to make the sea row, particularly China’s unabated reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea as the top agenda on the 50th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) which is currently being held in Manila this weekend.

The fisherfolk group raises doubt on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that the ASEAN delegates will primarily tackle in the series of meetings, saying the proposed framework is neither legally binding nor enforceable.

China has already reclaimed seven reefs in the West Philippine Sea; three of them now facilitate the installation of military facilities. All of the reclaimed reefs and islands are indisputably part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf (ECS) as stated by the 2012 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The 2016 international tribunal ruling strengthens our legal claim over the disputed maritime territory.

The group also urged Cayetano to retract President Rodrigo Duterte’s proposal to enter a joint oil and gas exploration agreement with China in the West Philippine Sea because it could lead to total sell-out of our sovereignty to Beijing.

PAMALAKAYA fears the proposed joint venture with China would lead to another deprivation of Filipino fishermen to their traditional fishing ground in the West Philippine Sea because the fishing area might be declared as off limits for fishing activities once the joint exploration takes place. Another concern raised by the fisherfolk group is China’s highly sophisticated drilling rigs and exploration equipments that could exploit our marine and mineral resources.

We urge Secretary Cayetano to raise the issue of Chinese illegal occupation and reclamation in the West Philippine Sea. These are the opportunities that the diplomat official shouldn’t miss. We expect Cayetano to diplomatically and actively assert our sovereign and territorial rights before the ASEAN delegates,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

Aside from China and the Philippines, other countries who have overlapping claims over the South China Sea are Tauwa, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. ###

Fisherfolk slams China’s military bases in Kalayaan Islands

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Fisherfolk slams China’s military bases in Kalayaan Islands

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Fishers march to Chinese Consulate in Makati to protest continuing incursion

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) lashes out at China over the ongoing construction of military facilities in the three major reefs in Spratly Group of Islands, a part of the West Philippine Sea located 280 nautical miles away from the province of Palawan.

New satellite images show missile shelters and radar communications facilities are being built on the Fiery Cross (Kagitingan), Mischief (Panganiban), and Subi (Zamora) reefs in the country’s Kalayaan group of islands.

For decades now, China claims almost 90% of the South China Sea using their 9-dash line assumption as historical basis.

PAMALAKAYA said China has been disrespectful ever since to our territory despite the existence of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), an international law which states that the waters being claimed by China in the South China Sea are indisputably part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf (ECS). The group said the country’s legal basis to claim the waters strengthens when we won before the international court of arbitration in June last year.

China shows no respect in our sovereign rights and territory by continuously installing artificial islands intended for military use. We demand China to humbly give up its unjust claim over our territory because they deeply destroy our marine resources that would eventually backlash to the livelihood of Filipino fisherfolk and to the country’s food security,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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Develop a West Philippine Sea utilization plan, President Duterte urged

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Develop a West Philippine Sea utilization plan, President Duterte urged

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President Duterte meets Chinese President Xi Jinping | Photo by rappler.com

Manila, Philippines ­– The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Sunday urged President Rodrigo Rodrigo Duterte to develop a utilization plan consists of detailed measures on how we should maximize our resources in the West Philippine Sea.

During President Duterte’s state visit in China last October 18-21, he didn’t raise the sea row formally but rather, scheduled a separate meeting that will discuss the issue of the territorial dispute.

90% of the South China Sea is being claimed by China through its 9-dash line theory, including the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and 150-nautical mile extended continental shelf (ECS). The long dispute poses threat among the Filipino fishermen as they are consecutively barred from entering in the Scarborough Shoal where China is building its military outposts through artificial islands.

We are saddened for the President just let this important issue swift away without coming up with a formal agreement. He missed the boat when he had already come face to face with the Chinese President Xi Jinping yet he didn’t raise the issue of the sea row that for years now, has been affecting the livelihood of the Filipino fishermen,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fisherfolk lauds arbitration decision calls to intensify the claim on West Philippine Sea

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Fisherfolk lauds arbitration decision;

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Fisherfolk rejoiced as the International Tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines vs China


calls to intensify the claim on West Philippine Sea

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) urged President Rodrigo Duterte to tighten the control and claim on the disputed West Philippine Sea (WPS) after the arbitration court based in The Hague favors the Philippines’ claim on the disputed waters.

It is official, the West Philippine Sea is our and ours alone. This is a victory not only for us fisherfolk but also for us as a nation. We have stood up against the bullying and garnered support in the process.” Salvador France, vice chairperson of Pamalakaya-Pilipinas, said in a statement.

Yesterday, the International Permanent Court of Arbitration came tremendously in favor of the case forwarded by the Philippines against the claim and actions of the Peoples Republic of China with respect to the South China Sea. It ruled that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within its claimed nine dash line. The international tribunal also found China in violation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), specifically with respect to the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by interfering with fishing and petroleum operation, constructing artificial islands, and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone.

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