A group of fishers lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent move to lift the exploration ban in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said on Sunday that pursuing the joint exploration with China “abandons” the 2016 ruling of an international tribunal in The Hague invalidating China’s claim on historical grounds over nearly all of the South China Sea.
“Legally allowing China to exploit our resources is tantamount to violation of our right to self-determination, and right to utilize national patrimony for national development,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya national chairperson, said in a statement.
Hicap, the former Anakpawis Party-list representative, added: “We remind the Duterte regime that China aggressively occupies 80 percent of our exclusive economic zone, robs our marine resources, and harasses our fishermen. How could you expect a country that has no regard for our sovereignty to respect this joint venture?”