By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD
A Philippine security official Thursday said that a visit by President Rodrigo Duterte to Pagasa Island in Palawan will assert our sovereign rights there.
The official, who asked not to be named, made the remark even as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that President Duterte will visit Pagasa Island in the near future.
“Of course it will (also) raise the morale of our thriving community in Pagasa because isipin mo dadalaw ang pangulo doon, wala namang problema dun because Pagasa is under our control. It’s just that the Chief Executive is going to visit and inspect our facilites there,” the security official said.
The security official, at the same time, also expressed belief that President Duterte visiting the island would not escalate the tension there especially with China.
“Hindi naman. I don’t see any implication dito sa atin ha sa defense kasi parang dumalaw lang siya in one of our provinces. It doesn’t have anything to do military in the visit,” the security official said.
“Hindi naman tayo naglalagay ng missile like other parties. It is just that our president is going to visit the community, wala namang masama dun.Dinadalaw nya iyung constituents. Although they may see something else about that, I dont think it will escalate tension,” the official added.
When asked if there is already a date for the president’s visit, the security official said there is still none.
“Nasa table na iyun matagal na, matagal na niyang binanggit iyun eh, kaya lang I think time niya hindi pa nase-set,” the official added.
Pagasa (Thitu Island) having an area of 37.2 hectares (92 acres) is the second largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands and the largest of the Philippine-administered islands. It lies about 480 kilometers (300 miles) of Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan.
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