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.
Fisherfolk group to Duterte: Practice what you preach; rescind VFA, MDT and EDCA
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) challenges President Rodrigo Duterte to transform his words against the United States into a significant actions by abrogating the unequal military treaties like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
President Duterte said last Monday that U.S. Forces in Mindanao must go for they are the target of the terrorist groups operating in the country.
For its part, the fisherfolk group said not only in Mindanao the U.S. forces must go, but all its forces operating in different parts of the archipelago including the newly-five agreed military locations under EDCA.
Disentangle from foreign domination – fisherfolk to Duterte
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. ###
Fisherfolk calls to stop the Balikatan 2016
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Tuesday calls to stop the Balikatan exercise that started yesterday.
Balikatan is an annual US-PH military exercise under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the newly-passed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). The balikatan 2016 started yesterday, April 4 until April 15, it involves 10,000 American, Philippine and Australian forces and some Japanese forces acting as observers.
But for Pamalakaya, balikatan 2016 shouldn’t be pursued for it will pose a huge threat to the Filipino people.
“American troops are always linked to human rights violations against ordinary people. 12 days of U.S. Forces in our country is perturbing for it might cause another Jennifer Laude or Nicole rape case incidents again.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.
Suspend the ongoing Balikatan 2016 – Fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Thursday calls on the government to suspend the ongoing Balikatan exercises in Panay and Palawan.
The Balikatan exercise is an annual Philippine-US military bilateral training under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the recently passed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) where the US military can station their bases in our country and use our facilities at will.
Pamalakaya maintain that the water-based military drills often result to disruptions on livelihoods of fishers, as every time war games were held in the coastal areas, local governments impose fishing ban to give blanket security to the US troops.
Fisherfolk slams the arrival of another US warship in Manila Bay
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Thursday criticized the arrival of the United States (US) Warship in Manila Bay.
According to US Embassy, the USS Curtis Wilbur, an Arleigh Burke class guided with missile destroyer has docked in Manila Bay on January 24 as part of “routine visit for maintenance and crew rest”.
But the fisherfolk group expressed fear that the country will be once again be converted into a US naval base.