Pamalakaya urges gov’t to protest ‘China Coast Guard Law’ after Chinese harassment
MANILA, Philippines — Militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday urged the government to protest the China Coast Guard (CCG) Law after the latest harassment incident in the West Philippine Sea.
Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap said that the recent harassment of Chinese coast guard against the Philippine Coast Guard through military-grade laser-pointing is courtesy of Beijing’s China Coast Guard Law.
READ: China harasses Philippine Coast Guard vessel with laser
“The law allows the Chinese Coast Guard to flagrantly display military might and other acts of aggression towards foreign vessels or structures in the South China Sea. This should be strongly condemned by the Marcos administration and ultimately call for repeal of the Coast Guard Law,” Hicap said in a statement.
Hicap added that the recent incidents trigger war flashbacks to the Filipino fishers who experienced intimidation and harassment from Chinese forces in our own territorial waters.
Also, if the CCG can openly harass Philippine authorities, what more the vulnerable fishers, the chairperson said.
The militant group also challenged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), citing Section 3 of the Philippine Constitution which states “the primary goal of the AFP is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory at all times.”
“We dare the AFP to uphold its constitutional mandate and do whatever it takes to secure our national sovereignty. For the record, this demand is not inciting war, but a call for active defense of our territory from our authorities who are constitutionally mandated to do so. In the face of Chinese aggression, the Philippine Navy should strengthen their forces, build more maritime outposts, and enforce the basic rules of engagement to prevent any shameful retreat and abandonment of our territorial waters,” Hicap stated.
On February 6, the CCG directed a “military-grade” laser against a PCG vessel in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
The incident led to the temporary blindness of PCG crew members.
China, however, argued that the PCG encroached on the Ren’ai Reef, which they claim is their territory. — Mae Anne F. Bilolo, INQUIRER.net intern
PH intruded into Chinese waters, Beijing claims
Hontiveros presses punishment of China for laser harassment of PCG
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