Filipino fisherfolk are not cowed by China's threat of arrest

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Filipino fisherfolk are not cowed by China’s threat to arrest them and detain them for 60 days if they sail and fish in the West Philippine Sea.

Joey Marabe, Pamalakaya coordinator in Zambales, said this threat is baseless because China has no political, historical and legal rights in the West Philippine Sea. Marabe was among those who sailed to Scarborough Shoal to deliver supplies to the fisherfolk there last May 14.

“Filipino fisherfolks reject China’s order to arrest what it considers to be foreigners in the seas it illegitimately seizes,” Marabe said. He said it should be China that should be held accountable for encroaching Philippine maritime territory, illegal fishing, reclamation and construction of military structures, he said.

He called on many other patriotic organizations to continue standing up for Filipino fisherfolk who are at the forefront of promoting national sovereignty and independence.

Atty. Neri Colmenares, Bayan Muna leader, also rejects the Chinese arrest order. He said that China can only do this in its territory, and not in the WPS, especially in the areas covered by the Philippine exclusive economic zone. He warned China not to do this, as it would only intensify tensions that could lead to “open conflict” in the area.

Atty. Colmenares reiterated his call to the Philippine government and other ASEAN governments to present a unified resolution at the United Nations requesting its intervention and push for demilitarization in the South China Sea.

“All military facilities in the SCS, including those built by the Philippines, China and Vietnam, must be dismantled to allow for a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” he said. He urged countries that are also victims of China’s bullying, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, to unite with the Philippines and present their respective cases at the International Arbitral Tribunal to counter China’s intensifying aggression in the region.

AB: Filipino fisherfolk are not cowed by China's threat of arrest