March 27, 2016
Fisherfolk group hailed the bravery of the Filipino fishers against Chinese invaders
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) applauds the bravery of Filipino fishermen who fought back the Chinese coast guards who drove them away while fishing in the West Philippine Sea on Tuesday.
The Chinese government, through their 9-dash line assumption, is aggressively claiming the West Philippine Sea which is part of the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf (ECS).
“That is the right thing to do. Due to government’s inaction to prevent the Chinese from harassing our people, our small fishers are forced to defend themselves to keep their livelihoods going in the face of China’s antagonistic presence in the West Philippine Sea,” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group denounced the Aquino government for failing in its duty to act on several harassment incidents on fishers in the West Philippine Sea.
President Aquino may flaunt on having elevated the dispute with China to the International Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands, but we are unimpressed. For he is ignoring and doing nothing to the plight of fishers who daily suffer dwindling fish catch as they are barred access to rich fishing territories and worse the increasing number of fishers who cannot go back fishing in the West Philippine Sea in fear of harassment from Chinese coast guards. Filipino fishers are undoubtedly the front line casualties of this territorial dispute with China. This is a clear neglect to fishers who bring food to our tables.” France continued.
Meanwhile, Pamalakaya also castigated Beijing’s aggressive usurpation on our fishing waters that is gravely affecting the livelihoods of Filipino fishers.
“China has no right to harass and intimidate Filipino fishers who have been fishing in the West Philippine Sea for decades. China should stop their reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea as this will destroy the rich marine resources endangering the source of livelihood of the fishers in the long run.” France said.
Pamalakaya urged the fisherfolk and the Filipino people to collectively defend what is rightfully ours at all cost.
“If our indecisive government can’t, then we, the Filipino people ourselves must unite to uphold our national sovereignty and interests.” France ended. ###
Salvador France, PAMALAKAYA Vice Chairperson – 0948-996-4477
Jam Pinpin, PAMALAKAYA Public Information Officer – 0942-274-5591