MANILA, May 3 (Mabuhay) — A fishermen’s group said Sunday it has filed 3 petitions urging the United Nations to act on Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea.
The petitions filed Friday called on the UN to declare the China Coast Guard Law null and void, seek demilitarization of the South China Sea, and investigate the effect of Chinese incursion to Filipino fishers’ livelihood domestic food security, said Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA).
“Our petitions complement the very principles of the arbitral ruling against China. These include the immediate pullout of Chinese personnel in our territorial waters, respect the rights of our fishers, and demilitarize our traditional fishing grounds,” PAMALAKAYA national chairperson Fernando Hicap said in a statement.
“Our appeal is in the framework of upholding the basic rights to food and livelihood of our fisherfolk, who are the direct victims, and for the peaceful, diplomatic and non-military resolution to the Chinese aggression and plunder.”
The group said it filed the petitions due to “lack of concrete and decisive actions” from the Duterte administration.
“The Filipino fishers are tired of Mr. Duterte compromising our sovereignty in the name of foreign loans and now, vaccines,” Hicap said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said the Philippines holds a “debt of gratitude” for Chinese aid, but its territorial waters “cannot be bargained.”
Manila has filed several protests following the illegal presence of Chinese ships in the country’s exclusive economic zone. It has vowed to continue to do so until Beijing’s vessels have left the area.
A UN-backed arbitration court had in 2016 ruled that China’s sweeping claims over almost the entire sea have no legal basis, but Beijing continues to shun the ruling, instead ramping up militarization and island-building activities.(MNS)