Diokno sees government hand in fishermen’s withdrawal

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Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno on Wednesday claimed that the government may have a hand in fisherfolks’ sudden withdrawal from a writ of kalikasan plea before the Supreme Court to compel the government to protect the West Philippine Sea.

Diokno issued the statement after Solicitor General Jose Diokno submitted before the Supreme Court during oral arguments the other day the affidavits of fishermen that they have nothing to do with petition.

“Nagsampa ng petition for Writ of Kalikasan ang mga mangingisda ng Zambales at Palawan para protektahan sila ng gobyerno. They did this with full knowledge and consent, dahil ang gusto lang naman nila e makapangisda sa sarili nating dagat, at kumita ng sapat para mabuhay ang kanilang mga pamilya,” Diokno said.

But according to Calida, 19 petitioner-fishermen withdrew their signatures from the petition.

“Wala kaming alam dito at hindi namin suportado ang inihaing petisyon,” Calida said during the oral arguments quoting an affidavit from one of the fishermen.

“These statements show deception, your honors. As for petitioner IBP, they did not even allege what capacity it is suing. Or what injury it has sustained,” Calida added.

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