Philippine Daily Inquirer | 5 November 2006
Militants to take fight vs trade pact to Japan
Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon
THE militant leftist group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) is bringing the struggle against the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) right to the heart of that North Asian country—the Diet—to ask its members to reject the onerous trade pact.
Gerry Albert Corpuz, Pamalakaya spokesperson, said a petition addressed to all the members of the Japanese Diet (parliament) was being drafted by the 30 national councils that comprise Pamalakaya and would be sent to that lawmaking body soon.
“The fight against JPEPA will be challenged not only here in the Philippines but also in Japan, the imperialist master and principal author of the one-sided agreement,” Corpuz said in a statement furnished the Inquirer.
The Diet is composed of the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors.
Corpuz said Pamalakaya would also furnish the Japanese Embassy in Manila, the Philippine Senate and the Japanese officials coming to the Asean summit on Dec. 10-14 in Cebu City copies of Pamalakaya’s petition urging the Diet to junk the JPEPA.
He claimed that aside from dumping its toxic waste here, the JPEPA would also allow Japan to fish for tuna in the Philippines and dump its surplus cars equal in number to the units its companies produce in the country.
“This is the mother of all ironies. The Philippine government will be preoccupied with selling Japanese cars in the country, instead of attending to the basic needs and welfare of the 86 million Filipino people,” Corpuz said.
Pamalakaya said that under the trade pact, Japan would be sending its big commercial fishing vessels to the country’s most productive fishing grounds in search of yellow fin and skipjack tuna instead of the Philippines exporting these to Japan.
“They can send their 8,000-ton fishing fleets to harvest our tuna under the banner of JPEPA. This is the implication of this one-sided agreement,” the group said.