By JONAS ALPASAN
MANILA – A fisherfolk group assailed the arrest of their four members who went on a fishing trip in Laguna de Bay yesterday – a day before the commemoration of the 50th anniversary since late dictator Marcos Sr. imposed martial law in the country.
In a statement, Pamalakaya said the police arrested fishers Edwin Delos Santos, Richard Concepcion, Ronald Caturas, and Jonal Caturas.
They were reportedly fined P2,500 ($43) each over a supposed offense that, according to Pamalakaya, the maritime police based in Taguig City was “unable to identify.”
“The offense cannot be illegal fishing or unauthorized entry because the municipal zoning ordinance does not apply to inland waters such as Laguna de Bay. The presence of these abusive maritime authorities has already taken its toll on the small fishers who are already battered with livelihood difficulties such as high cost of production and diminution of income,” Ronnel Arambulo, Pamalakaya spokesperson said.
The group said local fisheries ordinances usually target small fishers who are not engaged in any illegal or destructive fishing activities.
Fishers in Laguna de Bay have long been facing threats of eviction to supposedly give way to development programs for the lake. In an earlier study, Pamalakaya said there are at least 3.9 fisher and urban poor families who may be displaced and deprived of their livelihoods as a result of these government projects.