PAMALAKAYA urges fishers to defy ‘anti-terror bill’

PAMALAKAYA urges fishers to defy ‘anti-terror bill’

Manila, Philippines — “Defiance is the tall order of the day. But the fishing sector has no choice but to stand united and defy Duterte’s authoritarian rule in the name of defending our fundamental rights,” According to the left-leaning fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Wednesday, who marched along with other progressive groups in a lightning rally from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PHILCOA) to University of the Philippines (U.P.) Diliman in Quezon City, and a caravan from U.P. to the House of Representatives to protest the railroading of the “anti-terror bill”, which the fishers’ group said would “heighten political repression and vilification” of democratic organizations championing rights and welfare of the marginalized sectors.

In a statement, the fisherfolk group said that “anti-terror bill” contravenes to the basic principles of the constitution that recognize the people’s rights to freedom of speech, assembly, and to organize. PAMALAKAYA added that it would further the human rights violations by the already abusive state authorities and law enforcers.

“Even the bill has yet to be approved into law, activists and critics are already being persecuted, worst, being killed with impunity. What more if such civil and fundamental rights abuses have been legally enabled by this law?” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA added that the anti-terror bill would be a protection to entities plundering marine resources and displacing small fisherfolk families from their communities.

“Criminalizing the dissenters in the midst of a direct foreign aggression and plunder of our marine environment is a safeguard for the aggressors and plunderers from the people’s resistance,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solod added.

“Would an opposition to destructive land reclamation projects and Chinese aggression of West Philippine Sea be considered as acts of terrorism? Mounting people’s resistance and protests await this repressive measure of the Duterte government,” ended Hicap. ###

With photos from KMP and Alter-midya.

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