Bongbong Marcos urged: ‘Do something’ to secure fishing rights in Panatag Shoal
MANILA, Philippines – Saying they can no longer afford another six years of “defeatist collaboration,” a group of fisherfolk from Zambales on Friday asked President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to “do something” to secure the fishing grounds that have been taken by the Chinese in recent years.
In a statement, the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya (Pamalakaya) said that Marcos should have addressed these concerns during his 25-minute inaugural speech to make known his plans for fishermen whose livelihood had been severely affected due to unhampered Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), particularly in the resource-rich Scarborough Shoal, locally known as Panatag Shoal.
The shoal situated off Zambales is well within the country’s exclusive economic zone but is being claimed by China as part of its territory.
“We can not afford another six years of defeatist collaboration by the administration with the Chinese government in the name of economic partnership, while the latter accelerates its control and foothold in the country,” said Bobby Roldan, Pamalakaya vice chair for Luzon.
“The government’s measure to wrest back our seas must no less than make China withdraw all their forces and dismantle every military facility standing through their artificial islands,” he further stated.
Filipino fishermen have long been calling for government to help them as Chinese naval forces stand guard to Chinese poachers in contested territories.
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