PAMALAKAYA slams Roque’s puppetry to China
Manila, Philippines – “What happened to Harry Roque who used to denounce China’s illegal occupation in our territorial waters? It seems that the once staunch critic has now pledged allegiance to the imperial China,”
This was the statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday assailing Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s softening stance toward China’s continuous assertion of their irrational claim over the entire South China Sea, including the country’s 220-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and 150-nautical mile extended continental shelf (ECS).
The group accused Roque of being subservient to China after the Spokesperson’s statement that Beijing’s recent construction of military facility in the Kagitingan Reef (international known as Fiery Cross Reef) “has not breached its good faith obligation for as long as China has not embarked on new reclamation.”
“Instead of expressing strong condemnation statements to pressure China, Roque justifies its reclamation and militarization activities to make it appear acceptable to the public; this is grand puppetry and no less than our resource-rich territorial waters are at stake,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA recalled how Roque assisted 16 Filipino fishermen in Zambales on filing an appeal before the United Nations urging China to respect their fishing rights over the contested Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. The group said such move was nothing but a publicity stunt to gain public attention and attain a significant government post.
“Roque had only took advantage of the plight of Filipino fishermen and the issue of sea row to generate publicity, he was not actually sincere in upholding our territory but to satisfy his political ambitions,” said Hicap.
The group urged the government to stick with the international tribunal ruling that invalidates China’s 9-dash line assumption, and actively assert our historic, legal, and political rights over our exclusive economic zones. ###