Cause-oriented group protests Chinese president’s visit

Published November 20, 2018, 4:23 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Jel Santos

Over 200 members of a cause-oriented group on Tuesday, November 20, flocked to the Chinese Embassy in Makati City to protest the state visit of Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping in the country.

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Xi arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at 11:27 a.m. for his two-day state visit.

Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya (PAMALAKAYA), a fisherfolk group, said the visit of China’s leader intended to seal a joint oil and gas exploration with the President Duterte’s administration.

The joint venture, the group alleged, will serve as a precursor for China to eventually take over the entire West Philippine Sea including the 80 percent of the exclusive economic zone and the extended continental shelf of the Philippines.

“China is deceiving the Filipino people that the deal will be in favor of the Philippines. Our country getting its fair share from the exploration is improbable because we can’t expect China to be truthful and transparent in the operation and they will leave us with close to absolute zero. China will only use the said deal to advance its geopolitical and economic agendas in the Asia Pacific region,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA chairperson, said in a statement.

As such, the fisherfolk group raised concern over the possibility that local fishermen will be totally deprived of fishing activity at the disputed waters once the “joint” exploration starts.

According to PAMALAKAYA, it can be likened the planned joint exploration to the 2005 Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) that led to a take over of China to the large portion of Spratly Islands in Palawan and other parts of the West Philippine Sea currently occupied by Beijing.

“This planned joint exploration is an old wine in a new bottle; it is nothing but another face of Beijing’s territorial expansion and occupation under the pretext of boosting the China-Philippine economic ties. It is not a joint venture but exclusive exploitation of China brought about by the subservience of the Duterte government to the demands of its Chinese masters,” he said.

The group said it will strongly oppose the occupation, saying Filipino fishermen should be the ones benefitting from the West Philippine Sea.

“We will oppose the occupation of our marine territory not only by China but by any foreign nation at any cost. The Filipino fisherfolk and people should be the ones benefitting from our rich marine resources and not foreign entities.”

 
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