By Gang Glong Li and Gerry Albert Corpuz
Manila, Philippines- One of the groups who criticized Beijing's aggressive campaign in Scarborough Shoal doubted the Philippine government will file a unilateral complaint before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
For the small fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) the plan of the Philippine government to file a unilateral complaint against Beijing before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) appears like a run-of-the-mill press release regularly issued by Malacanang propaganda and image building team.
"The reported plan of Malacanang and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is just one of those run-of-the-mill press releases issued by the President's propaganda and media team. It seems to us there is no plan to file complaint against China's incursion, political arrogance and bullying in Scarborough Shoal, and the publicized filing of complaint base on UNCLOS or the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea is still waiting the go-signal from Aquino's master and political advisers in US," said Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap in a press statement.
The Pamalakaya leader theorized that Malacanang is still waiting the go-signal from the US government on whether to file or not the Philippine complaint to the Hamburg, Germany based ITLOS.
Hicap said the visit of foreign affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario and defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin to US for the "2 + 2"meeting in Washington with counterparts US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Defense secretarystarting tomorrow will seal the fate on whether the US will approve or not the filing of complaint against China before the ITLOS.
"You see, the principle and concrete practical concerns of Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity are defined not by the national and collective interest of the Filipino people but on the political, economic and military agenda of the US government. Secretary del Rosario and Secretary Gazmin will be in the "2+2 meeting not to uphold Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity but make sure that everything Aquino does complies with Washington agenda in East Asia and the Pacific," Hicap added.
Pamalakaya insisted that Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to raise the issue of PH-China conflict on the Scarborough Shoal to ITLOS and not to the US government for dispute resolution.
Not a White House concern
“Why bring the issue to US government? This is not a White House concern. The Scarborough Shoal conflict is between the Manila and the Beijing government that should be resolved in accordance with the collective interest of the Filipino and the Chinese people,” the groupo said.
Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France for his part said the Manila government would be committing another first-rate crime of puppetry and treason to the Filipino people if Aquino’s second class puppets like Del Rosario and Gazmin will insist in asking the US government to intervene and play star-studded role in the Beijing-Manila conflict over Scarborough Shoal.
Bringing this issue to the portal of the United States-- the world's no.1 terrorist nation is the biggest violation of Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity. France asserted that the case can be unilaterally brought up to ITLOS without influence peddling or pressure from the United States government. He said, another track the Aquino administration can utilize is the Code of Conduct which China signed with the Philippines and other member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN).
“While there are effective and workable options available for Malacanang, President Aquino and his stooges and protégés in the foreign and defense departments still prefer the usual master-puppet formula. We cannot rely with the ruling gangland in Malacanang as far as upholding the people’s sovereign rights and territorial integrity are concerned since Aquino is more of a Washington puppet and never a patriot in first place,” said Pamalakaya.
The militant group agreed with observations raised by Aquino critics that he is sending two of his officials to raise the Scarborough Shoal conflict to access more military hardware and aid from US government in exchange for increase deployment of US troops in the country and the possible return of US bases to host American troops on rotation basis.
Last week, Pamalakaya filed its own diplomatic protest against China for employing dirty politics, sheer arrogance and political bullying against the Philippines over the issue on Scarborough Shoal. In their protest letter emailed to China’s envoy to the Philippines- Ambassador Ma Keqiing, the militant group said it wished to inform the Beijing government that in strongest terms it condemns the perpetual arrogance and political bullying of China despite repeated calls from the Filipino people to ease the political tension.
“Madam Ambassador, the display of Chinese military might in Scarborough Shoal and the scene scaring small Filipino fisherfolk sourcing their livelihood from the productive fishing area through the use of battle ready warships and psywar flying aircrafts is something that we cannot stomach and accept. This is beyond political humility, out of reason, tyrannical and grossly incorrigible,” said Pamalakaya.
Pamalakaya told the Chinese envoy that the Filipino fisherfolk join the entire nation in asserting the people’s sovereign rights on Scarborough Shoal and parts of the Spratly regime of island belong to the Philippine territory.
The group maintained Panatag Shoal is within the country’s exclusive economic zone and Beijing bullying will affect fishing activities of not less than 200,000 small fishermen and commercial fishing operations in Zambales Bay and nearby Lingayen Gulf that encompass the coastal provinces of Zambales, Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.
In their letter of appeal, Pamalakaya said China’s arrogance and bullying act in Scarborough Shoal and the Philippine government’s unyielding puppetry to Washington are doing both disservice to both Chinese and Filipino people, and such political errors of ruling governments in China and the Philippines are giving way to US destructive agenda and cruel intentions in Asia and the Pacific region.