President Duterte yesterday afternoon asked the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Marines to patrol the islands in Batanes to ensure that they remain in the hands of Filipinos.
Duterte, in a situation briefing in the municipality of Itbayat on the series of earthquakes that shook Batanes last Saturday, said that the Department of Defense may tap the PCG to patrol the islands of Batanes.
“You might want to ask the Coast Guard to – pumunta dito, mag-istambay lang, palit-palit lang, to patrol the island from time to time. Not every day but just to assure that those islands will remain ours,” he said. “And whatever is ours it should be the – it should be very clear to everybody that it is ours,” he added.
According to the President, he will not allow even a can of black sand to be taken from Philippine shores. “Bantayan ninyo ‘yan. Ayan, I will not surrender even one can of earth, hindi ako papayag. Especially, the mining of our shores, itong, there’s a component ‘yung sand, black sand,” he said. “Kaya sabi ko I need to patrol the area once in a while. For all I know, nandoon ako, tapos nakatalikod tayo lahat, they’re already mining at the back,” he added.
Duterte reiterated that he cannot risk going to war against China since it will not end well for the Philippines. “If we insist it could only mean war and we are not prepared. We will not win a war with China,” he said.
“Maybe it will be vacant again and we will go back to claim what is ours. But for me to go there and start to take a very pugnacious or a very hostile attitude would only give us nothing but sorrow,” he added. (Argyll Geducos)