As the nation celebrates Independence Day, families are drowning from rising prices and Filipino fishermen are bullied out of Philippine waters, said Sen. Bam Aquino.
“Ipinagdiriwang natin ang Araw ng Kalayaan ngunit marami sa mga kapatid nating mangingisda ay hindi malayang mangisda sa sarili nating karagatan,” said Sen. Bam Aquino.
“Ninanakawan na at inaapi ang ating mga kapatid na mangingisda ngunit tila walang ginagawa ang pamahalaan para protektahan ang kanilang kapakanan,” added Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam was referring to claims by several fishermen during a press conference in Malacanang that China is dictating the movement of vessels over the Panatag shoal through its coast guard ships in the area.
One of the fishermen claimed that the Chinese coast guard is blocking access of bigger Filipino fishing vessels to the shoal’s lagoon.
“We shouldn’t need China’s permission to fish in our own waters,” said Sen. Bam.
Earlier, Sen. Bam urged the Senate to take the lead in defending the country amid China’s militarization of our seas.
“If Malacañang will not side with the Filipino people on this issue, then the Senate can take the lead in defending our country,” said Sen. Bam, adding that a strong and independent Senate can and should investigate all our dealings with China, especially when the rights and livelihood of our countrymen are at risk.
Sen. Bam added that if the government continues its defeatist mentality, China will be more emboldened to commit more abuses to our territory and against the Filpino people.