Manila, Philippines – “There are billions of funds being squandered by the government’s anti-communist task force for its ridiculous communist witch-hunt, yet the AFP whines about not having enough assets to patrol our territorial waters. The armed forces should be reminded that it is their constitutional mandate to protect the integrity of our national sovereignty, not to engage in outmoded McCarthyistic endeavors.” according to the militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Friday, in response to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) over its statement that it has “not enough assets to patrol” the West Philippine Sea amid the continuous presence of China in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
PAMALAKAYA was referring to McCarthyism, which they call a “baseless and obsolete” principle existed in 1940s to 1950s that served as a political with-hunt against suspected communist members and sympathizers in the United States (U.S.).
With AFP’s statement, the fishers’ group said it has “virtually bent the knee” to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), its Chinese counterpart.
“Did the AFP, composed of 140, 000 strong active personnel, just genuflect to the PLA? What would the Filipinos expect from them, then? They who have the military logistics from land, air, to naval capabilities have no ethos in territorial defense. We are not asking for war, but a security from the institution that has logistics and most of all, mandated to defend the sovereign and the people,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
The fishers’ group added that Filipino fisherfolk are the ones “valiantly exercising” rights over the West Philippine Sea amid heavy presence of Chinese vessels in the traditional fishing grounds.
“The Filipino fishers do better than the armed forces. We are the ones braving not only the nautical distance and the unpredictable sea conditions, but also the threat of aggressive Chinese personnel just to reach the West Philippine Sea and contribute to the domestic food security,” Hicap added.
Lastly, PAMALAKAYA seeks “state-sponsored fishing expedition” under the framework of domestic production and consumption as a strongest form of upholding our sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.
“The government must rally and subsidize the country’s commercial fishing fleets in a state-sponsored fishing expedition in the West Philippine Sea to enforce our legal claim and uphold our sovereign rights in our EEZ,” ended Hicap. ###