The Daily Manila Shimbun


Cayetano denies reported Chinese presence in Pag-Asa Island

August 22, 2017

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano denied Monday the claim of Supreme Court (SC) Justice Antonio Carpio that Chinese ships were occupying a part of Philippine territory.

Cayetano made this denial at the sidelines of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) proposed P19.57-billion budget under the 2018 P3.767 trillion General Appropriations Bill at the House committee on appropriations.

“The problem with some of the press statements that came out had wrong facts and wrong premises, wrong conclusion. One of them was saying there as an invasion of the sandbars sa Pag-asa.... That’s not true,” said Cayetano, referring to Carpio’s claim Chinese ships have been guarding Sandy Cay, a sandbar near Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island) in the West Philippine Sea.

Cayetano made the assurance a peaceful resolution of the conflict areas is the new strategy that the government has been exercising with claimant-nations.

Cayetano said President Rodrigo Duterte will not give up even a single inch of  the country’s territory.

“We’re not giving up a single inch of our territory,” said Cayetano.

“Let me assure you that despite the lack of details, we will tell you if there’s an alarming situation, if the public is in danger, or if we are going to take or step up certain actions that needs the public’s support, or at the very least, knowledge,” said Cayetano. DMS