Latest Stories

Pagasa as tourist spot: Why not? says Gazmin


Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday said he supported a plan to develop Philippine-occupied Pagasa Island into a tourist destination despite the protestations of China which is staking a competing claim to the island located in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“Yes, why not? It’s our territory,” Gazmin told reporters in a briefing in Camp Aguinaldo.

“Since we have a mayor there, why should we need to ask for permission from another country?” he added.

Gazmin said he saw no reason to fear a Chinese invasion of Pagasa despite a statement issued last week by that country’s foreign ministry reiterating its claim of sovereignty over the island it referred to as Zhongye and saying that it opposed any illegal activities there.

“I hope [any intrusion or harassment] will not happen but like the United States said, there will be a strong presence in the Pacific and we will be having a lot of exercises with them in these areas,” he said.

The joint US-Philippine exercises, Gazmin said, should serve as a “deterrent” to others so “we will not be pushed around anymore by the strong countries.”

Asked how the Philippines should respond to China’s protest over the plan to develop the island, he said: “Well, it will go through a process, this protest of theirs. Then we can easily answer that because that is part of our territory.”

US-Philippine military exercises have been expanded from the annual Balikatan joint training to include more troops on both sides and more activities. The governments of the Philippines and the United States, however, have denied the stepped-up exercises had anything to do with the conflict in the West Philippine Sea with China.

Pagasa is located in the municipality of Kalayaan under the province of Palawan in the Spratlys island chain which is being claimed wholly or in part by the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: China , Defense , Pagasa Island , Spratlys , Tourism , Voltaire Gazmin , West Philippine Sea

  • Fz20

    must have the air and sea power to support these….

  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    “we will not be pushed around anymore by the strong countries.”

    dahil magpapa kolonya kami ulit
    sa imperyalistang u.s. at

    papagitna sa u.s. tsina crossfire

    nagpapalaki ng b-yag
    ampaw pala

    concentrate muna tayo
    sa pagpapalakas
    bago magyabang

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace