CALAMBA CITY, Philippines — Leftwing fishermen’s groups are launching fluvial protests in various parts of the country in response to the call of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines for “communal action against this ruling regime of greed.”
In the province of Batangas, some 150 fishermen in 50 boats started Tuesday a two-day “fluvial protest” which would take them from Batangas to Cavite provinces to protest against coastal conversion and alleged repression against fishermen.
Haligi ng Batangueñong Anakdagat (Habagat) said the fisherfolk set out from San Diego village in Lian, Batangas and will pass through Calayo and Patungan villages in Hacienda Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas, then sail toward the municipalities of Maragondon, Cavite City, Ternate, Rosario, Noveleta and Bacoor in Cavite.
In an e-mailed statement, Habagat spokesperson Isabelo Alicaya said the group is protesting the “rampant” privatization and conversion of coastal communities in Batangas and Rizal provinces for eco-tourism, industrial and commercial projects.
Habagat, a provincial affiliate of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), is also against the intrusion of commercial fishing vessels into the municipal waters of Batangas and Cavite, he added.
Alicaya said the two-day “fluvial protest” is part of a weeklong action organized by Pamalakaya from February 19 to 25.
The group said sea-based protest actions such as “Oplan Palutang” (“flotilla protest”) will also be conducted in San Fernando City in La Union, Legazpi City in Albay, Sorsogon City in Sorsogon, Cebu City, Iloilo City in Iloilo, Bacolod City in Negros Occidental and General Santos City in Sarangani province.
“The weeklong protest in fishing grounds across the country is in response to the call of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines for ‘communal action’ against this ruling regime of greed,” the militant group added.