PH military installs more ‘sovereign markers’ in northern frontier
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine military on Wednesday installed more markers on strategic areas in the country’s northern frontier in a bid to assert sovereignty.
Two sovereign markers were placed at Mabaag and Barit Islands, adjacent to Fuga Island in Aparri town, Cagayan province. The Northern Luzon Command said these were in addition to the 11 sovereign markers installed last year in uninhabited areas within the Babuyan Channel.
The markers were placed in such a way as to make them “clearly visible to vessels transiting the waterways in the country’s northern maritime territory.”
Babuyan Channel is part of the country’s second northernmost island group, which also provides access to the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea.
In 2019, the coastal town of Fuga Island in Babuyan archipelago attracted public attention after security concerns were raised when Chinese businessmen showed interest in investing and building structures there.
Commodore Caesar Bernard Valencia, commander of Naval Forces Northern Luzon, who oversaw the installation of two new markers, said these areas are “integral part of the country’s territory.”
“Thus, these markers will help us ensure that our sovereignty will be recognized in these areas,” he was quoted as saying.
Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., Northern Luzon Command chief, said his unit will remain “proactive and vigilant in ensuring the security of our people, as we safeguard our sovereignty and preserve the integrity of our national territory in this part of our country.”
“We give utmost importance to our country’s northern maritime territory, as we treat these maritime areas as a significant part of our country,” Burgos said.
“It is a key source of livelihood due to its abundant marine resources, and a strategic trading route to boost our economy. Thus, it must be secured, and our sovereignty must be asserted in these areas,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.