Manila, Philippines – Hundreds of members of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) joined the national protest action in Manila marking the anniversary of the declaration of martial law, bannering the call “#LabanBayan, Inhustisya at Diktadurya, Wakasan!” The group said that its members are usually attacked by the Duterte government, as reprisal for asserting fishing rights and pushing for genuine fisheries reforms.
“We renew our call for justice for our fallen leaders, Ka Leboy Tecson and Ka Jaime Delos Santos, who were killed in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, under the Duterte regime. The fisherfolk movement recognizes their sacrifice and vow to struggle for justice,” Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap, PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas National Chairperson and former Anakpawis Party-list representative said in a press statement.
He also said that fisherfolk communities affected by the Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea have been subjected to militarization, to quell any grumblings against the puppetry of the Duterte government to China.
“In August third week, fishing communities in Candelaria, Zambales were militarized, as soldiers carried out house-to-house operations, obviously to harass them against criticizing Duterte’s inaction against Chinese take-over of the Panatag shoal, their very source of livelihood,” he said.
Almost the same week, Pamalakaya Vice-Chairperson for Luzon and Pamalakaya-Central Luzon Chairperson Bobby Roldan was sent with a threatening message via his mobile phone. Roldan is an organizer of fisherfolk in Zambales and instrumental in protest against Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea.
“The Duterte government acts as a sea monster against the Filipino fisherfolk, but a friendly dolphin against China. We urge the fisherfolk communities, especially those who lost sources of livelihood due to the Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea and liberalization policies being carried out by the government, to rise up against Duterte and end his tyranny and puppetry to China and other foreign powers,” Hicap ended. ###