Charter change to intensify foreign plunder of Ph seas – fishers’ group

Charter change to intensify foreign plunder of Ph seas – fishers’ group

Manila, Philippines – The militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) expressed “strong opposition” to the Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 filed by House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, which the fishers’ group said would pave the way for the removal of economic provisions that protect and favor the country in the 1987 Constitution. The RBH 2 will add the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in several sections of the constitution.

The fishers’ group raised the “specter” of foreign fishing fleets embarking on monopoly fishing expedition inside the country’s territorial waters to exploit and poach for high-value fish and marine resources. Moreover, the group warned, charter change (Cha-Cha) would institutionalize the Chinese-plunder of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea.

“The proposed Cha-Cha would further exploit the country’s land and sea resources because it will remove the protections on our sovereignty and patrimony granted by the existing constitution. Moreover, it will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of lands and other strategic sectors in the economy including but not limited to mining, education, media, utilities, advertising, health, and other public sectors,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

“Chinese aggressors are already plundering our seas even the dangerous amendments in the constitution are not yet in place. What more if the remaining and only constitutional defense of our sovereignty would be eliminated?” Hicap warned.

Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solon calls the public to be vigilant and reject any attempt of the Duterte administration to amend the constitution for further sell-out of the sovereignty to its foreign masters and moreover, to hold onto power.

“The game plan of Malacanang is to pursue Cha-Cha by all means, at all cost, and whatever it takes. The first step is to force both chambers to work as a constituent assembly in revising the constitution. Once the assembly is there, lawmakers will do whatever they want to do with the charter, including the vote on the perpetual stay of Mr. Duterte to power,” Hicap ended. ###

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