The International League of Peoples’ Struggle – Philippines strongly condemns the recent acts of aggression by China in the West Philippine Sea. Last November 16, three Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked and used water cannons on two Philippine supply boats on their way to BRP Sierra Madre. The Philippine boats were carrying civilians who were supposed to transport food supplies to Philippine forces stationed at the disputed Ayungin Shoal. Because of the incident, they had to abort their mission.
Ayungin Shoal is part of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), which is an integral part of the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf. TheWest Philippine Sea has at least 160 Trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 12 Billion barrels of oil. Kalayaan Island Group’s commercial fisheries, meanwhile, produce P30.5 Billion yearly and 92,000 metric tons of fish per annum which could feed 2.3 Million Filipinos.
The continued existence of China militia ships in the West Philippine Sea despite strong public outcry shows China’s outright disregard of our country’s sovereign rights and territorial integrity.
Despite the Philippine victory over the 2016 arbitration case, President Duterte has continued his kowtowing foreign policy in favor of China. He has enabled the intensifying militarization of the West Philippine Sea that has plundered so much resources and deprived livelihood from our Filipino fisherfolk.
China has time and again insisted its claims over the entire West Philippine Seam transforming seven shoals into missile-protected island bases, intensifying tensions with rival claimants and Western governments led by the United States. Duterte has adopted all the other puppet regime’s playbook of reinforcing the so-called benefits of the U.S. security umbrella while maximizing the so-called economic benefits of China’s rise. At the end of the day, the US-China proxy war increasingly playing out in the Philippines has always victimized the ordinary Filipino people.
We can no longer tolerate this utter subservience hiding under the guise of “friendly relations with China. The Filipino people cannot afford to bear another six years of a defeatist foreign policy under a Marcos-Duterte tandem. We will not wait for the time when our very own people lose control of their own marine wealth and resources to China and other foreign aggressors.
If the Duterte government doesn’t act on the continuing aggressions in the West Philippine Sea, the Filipino people will. ###