PAMALAKAYA chides Duterte’s defeatist stand on sea row
Manila, Philippines — “Asserting what is rightfully ours does not mean declaring war with the aggressor,” According to the militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), responding to President Rodrigo
Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“We are dismayed, but not surprised, by his usual dichotomizing of the Filipinos‘ call to uphold sovereign rights and having a war with China. Mr. Duterte should be reminded over and over that we have all the legal, political, and historical claim over our exclusive economic zone being robbed by China. Moreover, we have the legal venue which we are at an advantage, such as the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration decision invalidating China’s claim in nearly the entire South China Sea,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
“Nobody wants to have a war with any country. What we demand is justice and for the rights of Filipino fishers to be respected in our own territorial waters. We can have all that sans armed confrontation, only political will from the government and devotion to advance the interest and welfare of the sovereignty and people,” Hicap added.
PAMALAKAYA calls on the Filipinos to “collectively uphold and defend” the national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and denounce the “Philippine puppet government” for “surrendering our marine resources to China”. ###