On PH Independence Day, fisherfolk group slams US intervention

On Independence Day, fisherfolk group slams US intervention

On Independence Day, fisherfolk group slams US intervention

Fishermen in Subic town, Zambales continue to venture into Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea despite enduring years of harassment and bullying. (Photo by Joanna Rose Aglibot)

SAN ANTONIO, Zambales — There is nothing to celebrate, the fisherfolk group Pamalakaya said during the country’s Independence Day commemoration on Wednesday, June 12, stressing that “until now the presence and influence of other countries have been felt in the political, economic, and military fields.”

Pamalakaya joined the multi-sectoral protest at the United States (US) Embassy on Wednesday to denounce the continued US military intervention in the country, which they said, “has further escalated the tensions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).”


READ: Countermeasure in WPS redundant, says Pamalakaya


Bobby Roldan, Pamalakaya vice chair for Luzon, said during an interview Tuesday, that he believed that the U.S. military presence is not a deterrent to China’s expansionism activities in the South China Sea, which includes the WPS or the country’s exclusive economic zone.

“The opposite has happened since the U.S. expanded its presence and military base in our country—the number of Chinese warships in the West Philippine Sea increased. The Chinese Coast Guard became more aggressive and provocative towards the Philippine naval forces,” he said.

Pamalakaya also criticized the impacts of the recent “Balikatan” (shoulder-to-shoulder) war exercises on marine and fishery resources in this province. Municipal fishermen have been reporting a 70–80 percent loss of income at that time.

READ: Pamalakaya fears Balikatan drills may displace fisherfolk, disrupt livelihood

“Warships of American soldiers bombarded a large part of the Zambales fishery. Small fishermen in the neighboring town of San Antonio feel it,” Roldan said.

Pamalakaya said they want their allied marine scientists to investigate the effect of detonating the missile under the sea, especially on corals.


“Zambales fishermen should participate in the protest that insists on an independent foreign policy and absolute independence,” the group said.

READ: Zambales fishers face troubled waters

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TAGS: 125th Independence Day, fisherfolk

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