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Palace denies hand in fisherfolk’s withdrawal from West Philippine Sea case

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WIKIPEDIA
WIKIPEDIA

MALACAÑANG ON Thursday denied that the government had a hand in the Filipino fishermen’s withdrawal from the case before the Supreme Court seeking government’s strict implementation of environmental laws and protection of the West Philippine Sea. Referring to Lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” I. Diokno’s accusation that the government influenced the fisherfolk to withdraw their petition for Writ of Kalikasan, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said it is actually “the other way around.” In a briefing at the Palace, Mr. Panelo said, “I think it’s the other way around. He should ask himself in the mirror because that question applies to him. Because if we are to believe the affidavit of the fishermen, it’s them (lawyers) that influenced or manipulated them (the fisherfolk),” the spokesman said. He continued, “The very reason why the fishermen went to them is because their houses were being demolished and they had a problem not in regard to that, and then they were asked to sign documents, iyon pala petition na, iyon ang istorya ng mga (then it turned out to be the petition, that’s the story from the) fishermen.” — Arjay L. Balinbin

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