In defiance to China, fishers publicly declare Coast Guard Law ‘null and void’

In defiance to China, fishers publicly declare Coast Guard Law ‘null and void’

Manila, Philippines – In a show of defiance against China, militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on a protest on Wednesday publicly declared the recently-enacted Coast Guard Law “null and void”, as they vow not adhere to the repressive law and to assert the Filipino fishers’ fishing rights in the West Philippine Sea.

In a protest at the Manila Baywalk, Roxas Blvd, fishers from Nasugbu, Batangas and Zambales province said that the new Chinese legislation was a “plain and simple aggression, nothing more, nothing less”.

“The Coast Guard Law is a flagrant display of Chinese military might and moreover, an act of aggression against legitimate claimants of the South China Sea. This legislation explicitly empowers Chinese Coast Guard to shoot any vessel, armed or unarmed, entering Beijing’s illegally-claimed marine waters,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

“We will not bow down to Chinese aggression. Beijing should expect that its repressive Coast Guard Law would be met with collective and strong defiance from our patriotic fishers,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solon added.

The fishers’ group earlier called on the United Nations (U.N.) to intervene and denounce the law, as it also violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) invalidating China’s sweeping claims over almost the entire South China Sea, which covers 80% of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf.

Lastly, PAMALAKAYA calls on the patriotic Filipinos and champion of national sovereignty to unite and condemn China’s military expansionism in the Philippine waters. ###

Members of Pamalakaya and supporters protest along Manila Bay against the Chinese Coast Guard Law.

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