El Nido, Palawan – The multisectoral alliance from Palawan arrived in the northern Palawan town of El Nido Saturday morning (December 9, 2023) to join the Manila-based organizers and contingent of the civilian Christmas convoy to the West Philippine Sea, December 10, 2023.
The informal alliance, led by Palawan Patriots for Peace and Progress – a group of freedom-loving Palawenyos from the province’s 3rd district who advocate for peace and progress, is composed of members of the academe and organizations from sectors like environmental protection and youth empowerment and will join the WPS caravan organized by the Atin Ito coalition.
The Palawan delegation converged with the other groups and organizations in El Nido, where the convoy’s mothership MV Kapitan Felix Oca arrived from Manila for a send-off dinner tonight. The civilian convoy will depart El Nido early Sunday morning, December 10, 2023, and will try to pass by the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal where BRP Sierra Madre is stationed before continuing their voyage to Patag and Lawak Islands – other islands administered by the Philippines.
According to Joaquin Philippe Ortega, convenor of Palawan Patriots and son of the late broadcast journalist Dr. Gerry Ortega, one of their group’s main concerns is the “upholding of the Philippines’ interests in the West Philippine Sea and the need to inform and unite Palawenyos in safeguarding and exercising our sovereign rights over the WPS and our exclusive economic zone.”
Aside from Palawan Patriots, the alliance is composed of Ahon Palaweño, a youth-led movement advocating for youth empowerment; Chef Aiza’s Community Kitchen, an initiative that provides home-cooked meals to frontliners and the indigent local community of Palawan which started in the early days of the COVID lockdowns; Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Inc. – ELAC, a Palawan-based environmental non-government organization; Palawenyo Savers Club, group of advocates of social and personal fiscal responsibility based in Puerto Princesa; Pioneer Publication, official student press arm of Palawan State University – Tiniguiban Campus, and; Saguda Palawan, Inc., a Palawan-based NGO involved in various conservation efforts in the province. ###
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Image credits: Public Affairs Office, Naval Forces West