Palace: There is no Chinese flag on sand cay within PH waters
Malacañang denied on Thursday the claim of an opposition lawmaker that a Chinese flag was planted on a sandy cay seven nautical miles off Philippine-controlled Kota Island.
“I inquired about that and apparently, as of this stage, there is no flag. You know, as of this stage,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a Palace briefing.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano earlier claimed that a Chinese flag was detected planted in the sandy cay around the third week of July this year, and that a Chinese vessel planted the three-meter flag.
But Abella insisted that “a very reliable source” has denied the claims of Alejano.
“According to the source that I referred to, there was none. There was no flag ring that time,” he said.
The Palace official said the area was “subject to many passers-through and in fact, there are evidences of people who do park there.”
Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Chinese ships were now guarding a newly created island in the West Philippine Sea.
Carpio said Chinese ships had occupied Sandy Cay, a sandbar located around 4.6 kilometers from Pag-asa Island, the biggest island controlled by the Philippines in the South China Sea.
But President Rodrigo Duterte disputed Carpio’s claim saying, “They are just there, but they are not claiming anything.” JE