The Human rights solicitor Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno challenged the conditions behind the withdrawal of fishermen from Palawan and Zambales as petitioners for a Kalikasan letter in the West Philippine Sea.
The petition aims to oblige the government to safeguard and rehabilitate the Scarborough Shoal, Ayungin Shoal and Mischief Reef claimed by China and are excluded from the Philippines.
Diokno and lawyer Andre Palacios, both representing the Philippine Integrated Bar, submitted the case on behalf of the fishermen.
However, Solicitor General Jose Calida announced that 19 of the fishermen have disowned the petition and are backing out of the case.
Diokno pointed out that the fishermen had submitted the Kalikasan complaint because they were seeking protection from the Philippine government.
In the midst of the looming withdrawal of the Kalikasan petition, Diokno raised concerns about the safety of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.
Calida stated the case was “moot and academic” as both sides decided to reject the case. However, Diokno and Palacios only said they would explore the filing of a joint motion in the premises.