Gov’t to build structures on islands in West PH Sea, says Duterte
President Duterte on Thursday 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.
“There’s so many islands; I think nine or 10, lagyan ng structures and the Philippine flag,” Duterte said in a speech before the troops at Camp Artemio Ricarte in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
“We have to fortify. I must build bunker there or houses, and make provisions for habitation,” he added.
The President’s statement came amid aggressive moves of China to build structures in the disputed parts of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
He said he would personally raise the Philippine flag on Pag-asa Island this coming independence day on June 12.
“Sa coming Independence Day natin, I might go to Pag-asa Island to raise the flag there. Pati iyong ano, basta iyong bakante, na iyong atin na, tirhan na natin, ibig sabihin. Mukhang agawan kasi ito ng isla eh. And what’s ours now, at least kunin na natin and make a strong point there that it is ours,” he said.
Duterte said he has the full support for the development of the airstrip in Pag-asa island.
“The money is there. I don’t know how the Army or the engineering battalion would do it. But, that development there is, has my full support,” he said.
The chief executive said he would rename “Benham Rise” to Philippine Ridge.
“I will officially claim it as ours, and rename it, hindi Benham Rise. I would call it the Philippine Ridge, kasi parang ridge kasi. Continuous kasi ang continental shelves sa baba eh. So might as we claim a ridge, because it connects one beach to another,” he said. JE
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