Fishers warn against Chinese encirclement of Ph territory
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakasng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Friday backed the house resolution filed byBayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate and lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc, pushing the investigation on the impacts of Chinese development plans in three strategic Philippine islands, namely, Fugaisland in Cagayan province, and Grande and Chiquita islands in Subic, Zambales.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said that “not only the national security would be at stake if the government allows China to transform three of our strategic islands into Chinese economic hub, but also the national sovereignty and socio-economic rights of the farmers and fishermen who are direct victims on the takeover of our territory,”
PAMALAKAYA said there are at least2, 000 residents, predominantly relying on fishing in Fuga Island.
“We raise the alarm that this is visibly Chinese encirclement of our country in disguise with development. Basing on how China has virtually controlled West Philippine Sea by installing military outposts and deploying fleets, building the same in three of our strategic islands to establish a network of military and logistical hub is highly probable. The only difference is that it would be legalized, through a joint agreement, by no less than our own President,”Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
“We urge the Filipino public to be vigilant and prevent China to controlparts of our territory anew, just like how itillegally occupied nearly the entire West Philippine Sea, transforming our resource-rich marine territory into military facilities,” Hicap called.
Hicap, a former solon for Anakpawis Party-list said that the 18th Congress is “duty-bound to investigate the impact of the Philippine-Chinese deals because it may trample upon the Philippine constitution that protects our sovereignty against foreign intrusion.”
PAMALAKAYA is set to have a protest in time of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China next week, to assail the questionable deals that he would enter with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the group said, “would be detrimental to the national sovereignty and would further compromise our territory to China.” ###