A group of Filipino fishermen is seeking the help of the United Nations (UN) against the “belligerent, oppressive and militaristic” actions of China in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) which is depriving them of their only means of livelihood as well as endangering the food security of the entire Philippines.
The petitions filed last week by the non-government organization PAMALAKAYA called on the UN to declare the China Coast Guard Law (which allows their ships to open fire on intruders in their sovereign waters) as null and void, effect the demilitarization of the WPS and investigate the wide-ranging effects of China’s unceasing incursions in the PH’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to the detriment of the local populace.
PAMALAKAYA officials said they were forced to ask succor from the UN due to the “lack of concrete and decisive actions” from concerned authorities to address the issue.
“Filipino fishers are tired of PH sovereignty being compromised in the name of foreign loans and vaccines.”
They said their petitions are anchored on the framework of upholding the basic right to food and livelihood of our fisher folk, who are the direct victims, and the peaceful, diplomatic and non-military solution to Chinese aggression and plunder in the disputed area.
China has refused to recognize the 2016 ruling of the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague overwhelmingly in favor of the Philippines, which rejected its sweeping maritime and expansionist claims in the South China Sea as contained in their “nine-dash line” map.
Senator Manny Pacquiao formally joined the fray recently in asking the Chinese to withdraw from the WPS.
In a letter to Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, the Mindanao solon expressed his “deep concern” for the prevailing situation, as the continuing presence of hundreds of Chinese ships inside the PH’s EEZ only creates tensions, harbors divisiveness in the region and helps destabilize the international rule of law.
The Department of Foreign affairs has already filed tens of dozens of diplomatic protests against Beijing for condoning the illegal presence in the PH’s EEZ of several militia vessels (disguised as fishing boats), which so far have fallen on deaf ears.
Photo: Banner Media