Duterte to visit Pagasa Island within his term – Roque
After President Rodrigo Duterte failed to reach Philippine Rise, Malacañang vowed that the Chief Executive would go to Pag-asa Island within his term.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque did not give any exact date for such visit but said Mr. Duterte will go there to assert the country’s sovereignty in the island.
“Well, tingin ko po darating at darating ang panahon na pupuntahan ni Presidente ang Pag-asa Island,” Roque told reporters in an interview on Friday.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Thursday that Duterte’s earlier plan to visit Pag-asa Island has not yet been dropped.
Pag-asa Island is the only Philippine-inhabited atoll in the Kalayaan Island Group, which is located in the disputed South China Sea.
China also claims Pag-asa Island but the Philippines has modest military installations in the island to assert the nation’s sovereignty in the area.
“Ang pagbisita ng isang Presidente sa Pag-asa, ‘yan po ay ebidensya ng sovereignty at kung hindi man ngayon ‘yan gagawin ng Presidente , tingin ko bago matapos ang termino niya eh pupunta siya roon hindi lang para ipakita sa buong daigdig ang ating titulo sa Kalayaan kundi na rin para dalawin ‘yung ating mga kasundaluhan at ating mga kababayan na naninirahan doon sa Kalayaan,” Roque said.
Duterte had earlier said the government would build structures on islands owned by the country in the West Philippine Sea to assert our claims over the said region.
Lorenazana had earlier said the government would prioritize the rehabilitation of the runway in Pag-asa Island but the renovation has yet to start. /kga
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