HomeNewsFilipino fishers protest, demand demilitarization of West Philippine Sea

Filipino fishers protest, demand demilitarization of West Philippine Sea

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) held a two-day fishing expedition in Masinloc, Zambales, to protest foreign military presence and assert sovereignty over Philippine territorial waters.

The initiative responds to Beijing’s unilateral fishing moratorium and the recent U.S. Balikatan military exercises. 

According to PAMALAKAYA, the action challenges the fishing ban and advocates for the total removal of military operations in the West Philippine Sea.

Joey Marabe, provincial coordinator for PAMALAKAYA-Zambales, criticized military activities by both China and the United States. 

“Foreign military presence in our waters challenges our sovereignty and affects our fisherfolk,” Marabe said.

“The U.S. Balikatan exercises in San Antonio and San Marcelino have harmed our marine ecosystems and reduced fish catches,” Marabe added.

Jojo Ecijan, president of the Masinloc-based Panatag Fisherfolk Association, commented on the significant effects on marine life and fisheries since May. 

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“The bombings have severely impacted our seas, reducing fish catch and income,” Ecijan said. “Both China and the U.S. must be held accountable for the occupation and damage to our livelihoods and sovereignty.”

About 20 fisherfolk participated in the expedition, along with groups like the Pilipinong Nagkakaisa Para sa Soberanya (P1NAS), League of Filipino Students (LFS), and Makabayan bloc representatives.

PAMALAKAYA and other groups are urging local and international entities to respect Philippine sovereignty in maritime disputes and stop military activities that threaten community livelihoods.

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