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Int’l signature drive vs Jpepa launched in Bangkok

GMANews.TV, Philippines

Int’l signature drive vs Jpepa launched in Bangkok

13 October 2008

MANILA, Philippines - An international signature drive has been launched in Bangkok, Thailand asking the Philippine Senate to recall the ratification of the controversial Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa).

The move was spearheaded by fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), which said the agreement will put the Philippines on the losing end.

"It is all systems go. The international signature campaign against Jpepa is borderless cause and will seek international support to pressure the Senate to rescind the ratification of this one-sided and diabolical economic pact, which is done at the behest of and in the interest of Japanese transnational fishing monopolies," said Pamalakaya information officer Gerry Albert Corpuz.

Corpuz is in Bangkok to represent the group in the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference on Small Scale Fisheries. He said his group will gather signatures of over 100 participants in the conference from more than 30 countries all over the world.

Pamalakaya said it expects to gather the support of fishedfolk activists from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Canada, Uganda, Ghana, Martinique, Mauritania, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Guadalupe, Kenya, Spain, Chile, Honduras, United Kingdom, Tanzania, France, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Senegal and the United States.

Corpuz told foreign delegates attending the global conference that Jpepa is like the Philippine government doing the bailout for losing Japanese fishing corporations, “because the RP-Japan pact was designed to allow Japanese fishing capitalists to recover their losses from homeland and abroad.”

"The RP-Japan bilateral pact is a the mother of all bailout in this part of the Southeast Asian region," the Pamalakaya information chief added. - D’Jay Lazaro, GMANews.TV