“Take up the cudgels vs Chinese aggressors, not vs academic freedom” – fishers tell DND
Manila, Philippines – The state forces should take up the cudgels to defend the Philippine sovereignty against Chinese invasion of the territorial waters, instead of targeting premier schools which serve as a bastion of progressive thinkers and scholars, according to the militant fishers’ organization on Tuesday, lambasting the unilateral termination of the accord between the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of National Defense (DND).
In a statement, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) slammed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who is the signatory of the termination letter, for his “misplaced priorities” on security enforcement.
“Mr. Lorenzana should instead deploy his troops in the contested and militarized West Philippine Sea, wherein armed Chinese militias have been harassing and threatening the livelihood of Filipino fisherfolk, and moreover, our national sovereignty,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said the Philippine armed forces “are even missing-in-action when the Chinese aggressors sliced down our territory in the Kalayaan Island Group”.
“In our Chinese-occupied marine territory is where the police and military should be constantly patrolling, not inside campuses that threaten the academic freedom and students’ movements,” ended Hicap. ###