“[Marcos] should garner support from the international community in pressuring China to comply with the international ruling and abandon their irrational claim over our waters.”
By DANIEL ASIDO
MANILA – Progressives urged Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to take a stand against China and its “irrational” claim to Philippine waters at the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, as this would impact the country’s food security.
“By highlighting his administration’s thrust for food security and agricultural productivity, Marcos should likewise raise the troubles we are facing in utilizing our marine and fishery resources in the Chinese-occupied West Philippine Sea,” said Fernando Hicap, chairperson of fisherfolk group Pamalakaya.
Hicap said that China’s aggressive claims to the West Philippine Sea has led to at least 70-percent loss of Zambales-based fisherfolk’s daily income. This after China’s occupation of the Panatag Shoal in 2012, through its large-scale poaching activities that resulted in marine degradation and overfishing.
He said that Marcos Jr., in the presence of the international community, should stand and assert the arbitral ruling, affirming the country’s claim on the country’s exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea.
“He [Marcos] should garner support from the international community in pressuring China to comply with the international ruling and abandon their irrational claim over our waters,” Hicap added.
China claims to own 90 percent of the three million square kilometers of the South China Sea under its nine-dash line claim which has been found to lack legal basis by The Hague in 2016.
Marcos initially said that he wants to strengthen ties with China and resolve conflict by not only focusing on the issue of the West Philippine Sea.
Anakpawis Party-list National President Ariel Casilao also criticized Marcos’ appearance at the UN Convention claiming that it will be a usual Marcos-brand of deception during his presentation about the Zero Hunger sustainable development goal of the country.
He said that the government has done nothing to address the rising prices of goods and only resorted to liberalized agricultural policies “that consequently undermine self-sufficiency and food security in the country.” (JJE)