Defense chief wants to assure safety of civilians in Pag-asa Island
No right-thinking nation will attack civilians

Defense chief wants to assure safety of civilians in Pag-asa Island

/ 05:47 PM May 16, 2024

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on Thursday vouched for the safety of civilians in Pagasa Island in view of China’s presence in the waters surrounding the area.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. during the Manila Overseas Press Club event in Makati City on January 23, 2024. INQUIRER.net file photo / NOY MORCOSO

PAG-ASA ISLAND, West Philippine Sea — Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on Thursday vouched for the safety of civilians in Pag-asa Island in view of China’s presence in the waters surrounding the area.

“Sa tingin ko safe sila (I think they are safe) because no right-thinking nation will attack civilians,” said Teodoro in an ambush interview when he was prodded about the situation of Pag-asa Islands’ residents.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Kailangan po natin ng civilian dito because this is for them — this is not just purely for military purposes,” he added.

FEATURED STORIES

(We need civilians here because this is for them — this is not just purely for military purposes.)

According to Teodoro, the resources that can be found in the island belong to all civilians.

On Thursday, Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gavan said a total of 22 Chinese vessels were seen loitering at least three to four nautical miles from the Island.

The reported presence was recorded during the groundbreaking ceremony of a Philippine Navy barracks and a Super Rural Health Unit in the area.

READ: Chinese vessels near Pag-asa during PH Navy barracks groundbreaking

China has long been claiming Pag-asa Island, accusing the Philippines  of “illegally occupying” the island.

ADVERTISEMENT

READ: China claims sovereignty over Pag-asa Island; accuses PH of encroachment

To note, Pag-asa is an island in the Kalayaan chain at least 285 nautical miles from Palawan. The Philippines has long established military and civilian presence in the area.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For comprehensive coverage, in-depth analysis, and the latest updates on the West Philippine Sea issue, visit our special site here. Stay informed with articles, videos, and expert opinions.

TAGS: Gilbert Teodoro, Pag-asa Island, West Philippine Sea

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.