Waves of dissent: PH-US war games met with fluvial parade staged by angry fishers
MASINLOC, Zambales — Close to 200 fishermen and some protesters held a fluvial parade in Zambales to denounce the ongoing Balikatan military exercises between the Philippines and the United States.
About 40 boats were seen sailing from Masinloc waters with banners blazing messages of discontent against war games.
Fishermen’s group PANGISDA-Pilipinas and members of KILUSAN staged the activity.
They also rallied in front of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in San Antonio town, about 77 kilometers from Masinloc.
NETC hosts the sea drills of Balikatan.
Amid a sea of protest, the fishermen voiced their dissent against the shore-based drills, which they view “a great inconvenience to the livelihood of the fishermen.”
They said fishermen cannot sail for three days under the “no sail zone” imposed in five coastal towns.
The Philippine Coast Guard recently announced that fishermen were prohibited from fishing in San Antonio, San Narciso, San Felipe, Cabangan, and Botolan from April 25-27.
Although not covered by the ban, fishermen from Masinloc were also barred from venturing into the sea during this period.
More than 17,600 Filipino and American soldiers are participating in Balikatan 2023.
The bilateral exercises run from April 11 to April 28, a Friday.