Duterte’s war-mode is sell-out of sovereignty in disguise – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday dismissed the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he would be willing to go to war to defend the Philippine Rise (former Benham Rise).
“He can’t even confront China on its continuous occupation and reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea. Worst is that he says nothing when Beijing has nearly completed the transformation into military fortress of the seven reefs in the Spratly Group of Islands that are part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone,”
“Duterte has clearly no ethos in defending our sovereignty because he is only after foreign investments and funding for his pet-infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build program. His war-mode posture is more likely a PR-stunt to diffuse the public anger over his criminal neglect in protecting the West Philippine Sea from China’s continuous occupation,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group said that if Duterte is really sincere in protecting our exclusive economic zones (EEZ), there is no need to use metaphorical jokes like taking a boat to confront the invaders; rather, he must pressure China to urgently stop its occupation activities in the West Philippine Sea, as well as to confront other powerful nations like the United States to stop its regular patrol in the disputed waters that might provoke China and increase the tension.
Fear of human rights abuse
While Duterte boasts the presence of marines in Northern Luzon to guard the Philippine Rise, PAMALAKAYA questions the other objective of the newly deployed battalion of Philippine Marine Corps in the region which is to boost internal security operations against the communist rebels, saying this will actually augment attacks on the rights of legal political organizations that are waging legitimate mass struggles.
“The sinister agenda of the deployment of battalion of marines in Northern Luzon is to run after progressive organizations that are being maliciously tagged as members or even supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA). Instead of focusing on the major and external threat to protect our marine resources, the Duterte administration is more inclined in suppressing the civil and democratic rights of the Filipinos in the name of his anti-insurgency campaign,” ended Hicap. ###