Pangilinan questions deployment of security forces in Boracay
Government sending security forces to Boracay but appeared to show “meek submission” to China’s reported infractions on Philippine territories?
This baffled Senator Francis Pangilinan as he questioned the presence of more than 600 security personnel in Boracay to secure the island from tourists and possible protests during its six-month closure starting this Thursday.
Pangilinan, an opposition member, noted that Boracay island is a tourist destination, and not a “conflict area or a war zone.”
“Why is the government deploying over 600 personnel from the ranks of the police, armed forces, Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and civic groups in Boracay island during its six-month closure? There are no terrorists or invaders in Boracay,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
The senator said the only threat to the Boracay island and its residents was the government that ordered the island’s closure without a plan for the 36,000 people who will lose their jobs.
“Meanwhile, China’s aircraft freely landed on Mischief Reef recently even if the area is within our exclusive economic zone as ruled upon by the United Nations tribunal. Also, China has unveiled a monument in Fiery Cross Reef on Spratly Islands to mark its construction activities there — an area also within our exclusive economic zone based on the same UN ruling, to which the government’s response appears to be meek submission,” Pangilinan said.
“It is a shame that the administration is deploying the military, police, and the Coast Guard in Boracay while China has been blatantly trespassing in our territory and disrespecting our sovereignty,” he added.
Pangilinan said it was also “ironic” that the government could express so much love to China’s President Xi Jin Ping but could not be bothered to provide jobs for the displaced Boracay workers. /muf
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