IBP to confer Palawan, Zambales fisherfolks on WPS case at SC
MANILA, Philippines–The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) stood by its petition filed before the Supreme Court, alongside the fisherfolks from Palawan and Zambales, to protect the marine resources in the West Philippine Sea.
“The IBP stands firmly with fishermen, IBP Chapters and the lawyers involved in the petition for a writ of kalikasan filed before the Supreme Court,” IBP’s new National President Domingo Egon Cayosa said in a statement Friday.
During Tuesday’s oral argument, Solicitor General Jose Calida said they have the affidavits of the fishermen allegedly involved in the petition before the Supreme Court.
Calida told the high court that the fishermen are disowning the petition saying they were misled by the IBP and human-rights lawyer Chel Diokno.
The affidavits were signed by 22 fishermen: two from Zambales and 20 from Kalayaan, Palawan.
The high court suspended the oral argument. Calida said both parties have agreed to dismiss the petition.
But the high court did not confirm Calida’s’ claim. Its Public Information Chief Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka said both parties were given until Friday (July 12) to submit their manifestation.
The IBP said they will ask the Supreme Court for more time because they will be conferring with the fishermen in Zambales and Palawan.
“Considering the new allegations by the Office of the Solicitor General, the handling lawyers will request the Supreme Court for time to confer with the fishermen in Zambales and in Palawan so that they can more appropriately act on the developments in the case,” Cayosa said.
The IBP maintained that it will continue advocating “for the enforcement of environmental laws, protection of the rights and welfare of fisherfolks and securing the territory and patrimony of our country in the West Philippine Sea.” /jpv
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