The Daily Manila Shimbun


Military said there are features in the Spratlys can be occupied by AFP

April 7, 2017

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año confirmed there are features within the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in Spratlys that may be occupied by the military. “Within our EEZ, there are submerged lands or rocks that we may occupy but we need to put up structures where our troops can stay,” Año said. “I cannot give you the numbers and location for security reasons,” he added. Año said this after President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he have ordered the military to occupy islands that the country claims in Spratlys. “That’s an order from the president and I intend to carry that out. That is ours per arbitration ruling so we don’t see any problem,” he said. “Actually all the Islands there total of eight plus the Ayungin Shoal were occupied by our troops. We will reinforce our troops and improve the structures and facilities there,” he added. In a text message to defense reporters, former Kalayaan Mayor in Pagasa Island, Eugenio Bitoo-non said during his term he recommended development and improvement in four shoals in Spratlys. “Those shoals that I recommended were Sabina, Alicia Annie, Half Moon and Royal Captain Shoal,” he said. It can be recalled a Chinese warship was reportedly stuck in the Half Moon Shoal in 2012. (Robina Asido/DMS)