Manila, Philippines – As the national elections draw near, the militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) challenges the political parties and their candidates who declared participation on the 2022 polls to “take the issue of national sovereignty at the center stage of their electoral platforms”.
In a statement on Tuesday, PAMALAKAYA said that it will be rooting for the electoral candidates who would “vow to assert our territorial and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea”.
“To put it simply, we don’t want another leader who will carry the same brand of puppetry of President Duterte. We want the one who will decisively assert our territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea in any legal, peaceful, and diplomatic means,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said.
In particular, the fishers’ group dared the national candidates to “do away with Duterte’s subservient foreign policies that outrightly surrender our resource-rich territorial waters to China in exchange for burdensome loans”.
“The winning odds of any presidentiables who wish to follow the subservient foreign policies prescribed by Duterte and his ruling political syndicate are very slim. The collective aspiration of the fisherfolk and coastal population across the country is to regain control over our marine territory taken away by China,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solon added.
The coastal-based group asserted that “the puppet Duterte government has bolstered China to step up its militarization and aggression in the Philippine waters”.
PAMALAKAYA said it will mobilize its 100, 000-strong members across the archipelago to popularize and present its “fisherfolk electoral agenda” that primarily includes the issue of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Only progressive candidates who renounce Duterte’s fascist and puppet governance deserve the precious votes of the fisherfolk sector in the approaching electoral derby,” ended Hicap. ###