Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) deplores Dutertes' recent "We're Friends" statement on the Reed bank allision between Chinese and Filipino vessels as "shameless cowardice and outright betrayal" to the country's interest.
According to CPA Secretary-General Bestang Dekdeken, Duterte's declaration of "friendship" is clearly a violation of our sovereign rights in West Philippine Sea. It is an insult to the Filipino people especially our fishermen which are repeatedly being victimized by China's aggressive control of the entire West Philippine Sea.
The Recto Bank was declared as part of the Philippine EEZ by the International Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016. Without the consent of the Philippines, no other country can conduct any economic activities including fishing and exploration of oil and gas in the area.
Dekdeken added that "the West Philippine Sea is being surrendered by the Duterte regime to China and so is our sovereignty over the Chico River in the Cordillera thru the Chico River Pump Irrigation project. Through the China loan contract, the Philippines "irrevocably waives any immunity" of its patrimonial assets in the Philippines which are commercial in nature as stated in Article 98.1. This means that if the Philippine government fails to pay the loan then the patrimonial assets can be taken over by China. Let us not forget that China already has a record of taking over a port to Sri Lanka because it failed to pay back its loan from China."
CPA reiterated its call for the people of Cordillera and the whole nation to resist China's imperialist aggression and plunder in the Cordillera, West Philippine Sea and the entire country. They plan to hold protest actions asserting Philippine sovereignty in the coming days leading to the fourth State of the Nation Address of Pres. Duterte.