Pamalakaya backs Palawan execs call to include Kalayaan isles in baselines bill

Pamalakaya backs Palawan execs call to include Kalayaan isles in baselines bill

Local government officials of Palawan found an unlikely ally in the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) against the exclusion of Kalayaan group of islands from Congress baselines bill defining the country’s archipelagic and territorial waters.

“The Macapagal-Arroyo government deserves wholesale condemnation for violating and defying the Filipino people’s long-running historic claim to Kalayaan islands. This regime of greed reduced our rightful, legitimate and moral claims to Spratly to a regime of islands and this is national foul play,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

The Pamalakaya leader added: “Mrs. Arroyo and her company of hooligans are moving heaven and earth to remove the Kalayaan group of islands from the Philippine territory to facilitate the revival and provide the full blanket authority to the controversial Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking that would allow China to proceed with its biggest offshore mining escapade in Palawan and South China Sea.”

Pamalakaya said it is supporting the protest lodge by Palawan officials against the exclusion of Spratly group of islands in the baselines bill set to be approved by Congress next week. The militant group said the implication is not only limited to the local government officials claim to Malampaya, but to the entire claim of the Filipino people over the Kalayaan group of islands.

“The baselines bill which exclude Kalayaan group of islands is tantamount to treason to the highest order. The country’s sovereignty and territorial rights is over and above any kind of diplomatic relations and business ventures,” the group added.

According to Pamalakaya, once the baselines bill is approved with the exclusion of Spratly islands, the government will start renegotiating the stalled offshore mining project with China..

“The China National Offshore Oil Corporation will eventually set up gas pipelines from Palawan to mainland China once the potential reserves of 3.3 trillion cubic meters of gas are confirmed in the ongoing gas exploration. This is the immediate consequence of this baselines bill,” the group said.

Pamalakaya said the setting up of gas pipelines from Palawan to China will be the next big thing to happen under the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) since the transfer of gas can only be done through the construction of gas pipelines like in the case of the Malampaya gas pipeline project.

“That’s the next logical chapter of this highly detestable agreement between RP and China. China will put up its pipelines to complete the loot, and the Malacañang will just beg for alms in the form of taxes and other duties,” the group added.

Pamalakaya said his group’s fearless forecast in the next three years is that China will establish gas pipelines that would supply the energy sector of China, Malaysia and Singapore and that it would merely engaged in lease contract with the Philippine government for the use of 142,886 square kilometers encompassing Palawan and certain parts of the Spratly Islands being claimed by the Philippines over the last four decades.

Pamalakaya recalled last year the Chinese oil exploration vessel Nan Hai docked at Puerto Princesa City port to refuel after coming from a seismic operation in Southwest Palawan.

“Nam Hai 502 was in Palawan last year not only to conduct seismic operations because it is already confirmed that trillions of cubic meters of natural gas are found in the waters of Palawan and the Kalayaan group of Islands. The best kept secret there is that the Chinese oil explorers are seemingly engaged in mapping operations regarding the setting up of gas pipelines,” the group said.

The Pamalakaya added: “We were not born yesterday not to understand this geographical escapade of Chinese oil explorers. Once they explore, all aspects are considered from identification of gas deposits to how these deposits would be taken off and transferred to the home base of the oil exploration giant and their big-time clients in neighbor countries.” #

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