Fishers group vows to join ouster protests against Duterte on 2018
Manila, Philippines – “It would be huge, mounting protest actions in which the central objective is to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte from his position not later than this year,” This was the opening statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on the commencement of the year 2018.
“The growing mass resistance against this tyrannical regime is a reflection that the Filipino people had already enough of Duterte’s iron fist rule that has already claimed thousands of innocent lives,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statemet.
The group said the Duterte regime within his one year in the office has already unleashed several brutal campaigns against the Filipino people; the bloody war against drugs dubbed as “Oplan Tokhang”, the all out war which targets national democratic activists, and the extended martial law in the whole Mindanao that continues to violate the civil rights of the Filipino people in the region, especially farmers.
Massive demolition plan
PAMALAKAYA said Duterte’s anti-people economic policies like the Build, Build, Build (BBB) program threaten the socio-economic lives of the Filipino people as it would follow a massive demolition of homes and displacement of poor families from their livelihood and communities in exchange for commercial and even government infrastructures.
“Duterte’s grandiose infrastructure plan in line with the Build, Build, Build is highly dangerous and deserves a thorough public condemnation and opposition. Thousands of hectares of fishing waters and coastal communities are under the threat of conversion into infrastructure projects, all at the expense of the community and fishing rights of millions of fisherfolk and coastal settlers,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
Compromising national sovereignty
The group also said Duterte is guilty of committing treason for allowing China to continue its occupation through reclamation activities in the country’s exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea.
Duterte has disregarded the decision of the international arbitration recognizing the Philippines as the legal claimant of the disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea.
“Having no concrete plan to assert our rightful claim in our sovereignty is tantamount to complete surrender of our territory to foreign invader. In exchange for Chinese debt for his pet infrastructure projects, Duterte has neglected our political, historic, and legal claims in our marine territory,”
“This year, we vow to further expose and isolate Duterte that would lead to his complete downfall,” ended Hicap. ###