Manila, Philippines – The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women joined the June 12 Independence Day protest against China’s imperialist aggression and plunder of natural resources in the West Philippine Sea.  The group, along with other organizations, marched to the Chinese Consulate to demand an end to China’s continued violations of Philippine sovereignty. 

“Today in particular is a reminder that the national fight against colonizers and foreign oppressors is a fundamental part of Philippine history. That the Duterte regime has willingly allowed China’s violations in the West Philippine Sea to continue unaddressed is an outrageous insult to the Filipino people of past, present, and future,” said Amihan National Chairperson Zenaida Soriano. 

Amihan decried China’s poaching and destruction of Philippine maritime resources, the illegal presence of Chinese fishing and militia vessels in the West Philippine Sea, its unilateral fishing ban covering the Philippines’ EEZ, and their persistent harassment and intimidation of Filipino fisherfolk. 

Amihan also slammed the Duterte regime’s enabling of China’s abuses through its appeasement policies, and its negligent inaction in guaranteeing Filipino fisherfolk’s safety in their own traditional fishing grounds. The group stressed that the Duterte was complicit in China’s destruction of the Philippine environment, and of the livelihood of small fisherfolk. 

Duterte, backtracking on his 2016 campaign promises to aggressively address territorial disputes with China, has made a multitude of excuses to dismiss issue, going as far as to erroneously claim that the West Philippine Sea is not a rich ground for fishing. Amihan reiterated that the Duterte regime will not oppose China due to ongoing transactions, including the Build, Build, Build program that displaced farmers and peasant women. 

“China’s actions are in clear violation of international law and severely jeopardize the Philippines on environmental, economic, and political levels. Duterte’s blatant refusal to defend our national sovereignty against foreign aggressors makes clear that he is a coward and traitor to the Filipino people,” Soriano ended. ###

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