The territorial disputes between the Philippines and China continue to intensify but one brave group continues to fight for our rights to our own shores. Kalayaan Atin Ito (Freedom, This Is Ours) is a Filipino movement comprised mostly of students. Founded on May 15, 2015, the group believes in “Freedom through national unity and patriotism.”
Kalayaan Atin Ito (KAI) aims to unite and educate the Filipino people about the importance of the West Philippine Sea. It also aims to mobilize people to show their support for the fight for the recognition of our own resources. KAI’s movement is composed of four phases:
Freedom Flame Caravan
KAI will go to all 81 provinces of the Philippines and shall hold information drive in several colleges and universities to educate people, and get volunteers to join them as they sail to Palawan
Volunteers will meet at Puerto Princesa, Palawan and shall sail to the disputed Kalayaan Island Group as a peaceful protest against the Chinese Government and assert Philippine sovereignty over the disputed islands.
The group sailed last December 24 with the crew of M/V Alshedin and joined by 46 youth volunteers.
After their training, volunteers will spend nights at the different disputed islands for a month to champion patriotism and nationalism.
KAI will turn over some boats to the fishermen at Kalayaan Island Group to encourage and support them.
Just recently, the group attempted to sail to Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal last June 12, Independence Day to plant the Philippine Flag. However, the group encountered a setback as they were intercepted by Chinese Coast Guards. The group ignored the orders but experienced a standoff which lasted for hours. Two of the volunteers managed to make it to the ring of the shoal and raise a flaglet.
Last July 12, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague unanimously ruled in favor of the Philippines in a case against China’s claims to virtually all of the South China Sea and upheld that China’s “nine-dash line” maritime claim encroached into the Philippines' 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
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