Fishers’ group to support 2022 poll bets who would assert PH’s rights in WPS

Published September 28, 2021, 2:44 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

TIGHT WATCH – Crew members of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel BRP Cabra monitor the departure of seven Chinese militia vessels from the Sabina Shoal in the West Philippine Sea on April 27, 2021. (Philippine Coast Guard)

A national federation of fisherfolk organizations on Tuesday, Sept. 28, said it will support the candidates in the 2022 elections who would vow to uphold the country’s territorial and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) has challenged political parties and their candidates who declared their bid on the 2022 polls to “take the issue of national sovereignty at the center stage of their electoral platforms.”

In a statement, the militant fishers’ group said that it will be rooting for the electoral candidates who would “vow to assert our territorial and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.”

“To put it simply, we don’t want another leader who will carry the same brand of puppetry of President Duterte,” said Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya national chairperson.

“We want the one who will decisively assert our territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea in any legal, peaceful, and diplomatic means,” he added.

The group dared the national candidates to “do away with Duterte’s subservient foreign policies that outrightly surrender our resource-rich territorial waters to China in exchange for burdensome loans.”

Pamalakaya said it will mobilize its 100,000 members across the country to promote its “fisherfolk electoral agenda” that primarily includes the issue of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The winning odds of any presidentiables who wish to follow the subservient foreign policies prescribed by Duterte and his ruling political syndicate are very slim,” Hicap said.

“The collective aspiration of the fisherfolk and coastal population across the country is to regain control over our marine territory taken away by China,” he added.