PAMALAKAYA trooped Chinese Consulate to protest ‘coast guard law’
Manila, Philippines – Militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Friday trooped the Chinese Consular office in Makati City to show defiance against Beijing’s recently-passed Coast Guard Law, which the protesting group said would “endanger” the lives of Filipino fishers fishing in Philippine marine territory.
The new legislation, enacted on January 22, empowers Chinese Coast Guard to fire at non-Chinese vessels entering Beijing-claimed maritime territory in the South China Sea.
“China can’t just order its naval forces to shoot anyone that they consider as foreigners to the maritime waters that they illegally claim. This legislation would heighten the antagonistic approach of Chinese militias against Filipino fishers conducting economic activities within our own fishing grounds. It deserves a strong condemnation and defiance not only from the Filipino people but also from the people of the claimant countries of the South China Sea,” Salvador France, Secretary General of PAMALAKAYA said during the protest.
The fishers’ group urged the Chinese government to comply with the 2016-decision of the permanent court of arbitration invalidating the former’s claim in nearly the entire South China Sea.
“We stress that China doesn’t have any legal, political, and historical claim over the entire South China Sea. It must respect the fishing rights of the Filipino fisherfolk in the West Philippine Sea, and moreover, refrain from any armed approach and honor the freedom of navigation as stated by the international maritime law,” France added.
Lastly, PAMALAKAYA calls for an international pressure against China’s expansionism and militarization activities in the South China Sea.
“China’s military fortification and garrisoning of artificial islands and islets in our maritime territory is highly alarming. It poses threat to our national security, not to mention the fear it casts to our fisherfolk and its impact to our aquatic and marine resources,” France added.
“This militarization should not only concern the claimant countries, but the international community as well. It is high time for every country, claimants and non-claimants of South China Sea, to unite and put external pressure against China to thwart its geopolitical aggression and military expansionism in the Southeast Asia,” ended France. ###
Pamalakaya, Anakpawis Party-list and supporters protest in front of the Chinese consulate office in Makati City.