Fisherfolk deplores Chinese installation of missile systems in Spratlys
Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) strongly condemns the deployment of missile systems of China on the three artificial islands in Kalayaan Group of Islands (internationally Spratly Islands).
Reports claimed that China has installed cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross), Zamora Reef (Subi), and Panganiban Reef (Mischief) – three of the seven reefs seized and transformed by China into artificial islands despite the international arbitration decision invalidating their claim.
“We condemn China’s installation of military armaments in our marine territory in the strongest possible terms. China has already reached the peak of violating our sovereign and territorial rights. And this is despite the existence of an international law which guarantees that the West Philippine Sea are indisputably part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA assailed the Duterte government’s constant silence on the issue, blaming President Rodrigo Duterte on why the contested waters are now armed and militarized.
“We hold Duterte accountable over this Chinese takeover of our marine territory and resources. His consistent defeatist approach on this long-running sea row has now led to complete transformation of our resource-rich territory into a fortified Chinese military zone,” added Hicap, calling all Filipinos and patriots to unite and defend the territory against Chinese invasion and other forms of foreign intervention.
“We call on the Filipino patriots to unite and actively assert our exclusive rights in the West Philippine Sea. We have no illusions that our President will step up to his role as chief executive and uphold our sovereign rights and territorial integrity,” ended Hicap. ###