Pamalakaya lauds bishops’ call to protect fishers | Inquirer News

Pamalakaya hails bishops’ call to protect PH fishers in WPS

/ 11:31 AM February 07, 2024

Fishermen warn vs ‘coordinated’ fishing ban in the West PH Sea fisher pamalakaya chinese china

Fishermen in Masinloc town, Zambales province, prepare to sail in the municipal waters. They are still reluctant to return to their usual fishing ground on Scarborough Shoal because of the presence of the Chinese Coast Guards. (File photo by JOANNA ROSE AGLIBOT / Inquirer Central Luzon)

MANILA, Philippines — A group of Filipino fisherfolk on Wednesday welcomed the plea of six Catholic bishops urging the government to shield them from China’s ongoing harassment in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

According to the progressive fishers’ group Pamalakaya, the bishops’ statement further encourages them to demand improved foreign policy from the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.


READ: 6 bishops to govt: Protect our fishers


“We welcome the statement of six Catholic bishops for protecting Filipino fisherfolk against Chinese incursion in the West Philippine Sea,” Pamalakaya first told

“This further strengthens our demand to the government to ramp up its measures in securing the fishing rights of Filipinos in our territorial waters,” they added.

The group then aired their frustration on the alleged reliance of the Marcos administration on the assistance of the United States (US) in its WPS policy.

“Up until now, we have not seen any significant and decisive action from the Marcos Jr. administration regarding regaining our control over the West Philippine Sea. All we can see is his reliance on China’s rival superpower that does not guarantee genuine independence,” they said.

Pamalakaya has long advocated for an independent foreign policy from the government, claiming that dependence on any superpower could further escalate the situation in the contested waters.

“The Filipinos must completely oppose any foreign intervention, whether it be China or the United States,” they continued.


READ: PCG to Filipino fishers: Don’t be discouraged by China’s harassment

On February 4, six Catholic bishops of dioceses in Luzon said that it is not just for the “leaders of our country to allow our own fisherfolk to be driven out of fishing grounds over which international law recognizes our rights.”

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The bishops’ call to the government came a few weeks after the Philippine Coast Guard reported that some Filipino fishermen were harassed while collecting sea shells near Bajo de Masiloc on January 12.

TAGS: China, Chinese, Filipino fishers, Pamalakaya, WPS

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