The woman who ‘sold Spratlys to China’
Fisherfolk under the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) strongly deplore the speakership of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a notorious human rights violator who took away thousands of human rights activists during her almost one decade of fascist rule.
Under Arroyo’s nine years as president, it was recorded that at least one human rights activist was killed extrajudicially on a weekly basis, while there were 204 victims of enforced disappearances.
Arroyo is not only a human rights violator, but also an acccused plunderer who used her position for her personal gain.
We will never forget the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) that the Arroyo administration entered with China in 2004. The JMSU allowed China and Vietnam to explore the Philippine-occupied islands in the Spratlys, including the Reed Bank in western Palawan.
The joint exploration lasted for three years, and in 2008, progressive groups questioned the legality of the deal before the Supreme Court for violating the national economy and patrimony provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
China, however, has not provided the Philippines a clear result of the exploration. All we know is that China is fast transforming our traditional fishing grounds into Chinese military fortresses, and that Filipino fishers have now limited access to the fishing waters being claimed by
Arroyo is one of the primary reasons the West Philippine Sea is now under the control of China—just one among the other anomalous midnight deals that she was involved in.
FERNANDO HICAP, national chair, Pamalakaya-Pilipinas
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