The Daily Manila Shimbun


No Chinese flag off Kota Island, a Philippine controlled territory, Abella says

August 24, 2017

China has not flown its flag in a sand cay off Kota Island, which is within the Philippine controlled territory in the disputed South China Sea, Malacanang said on Thursday.

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, citing "a very reliable source," said Philippine authorities checked the report and there was no Chinese flag seen in the area.

"I inquired about that and apparently, as of this stage, there is no flag, you know, as of this stage," Abella said.

Apparently, Abella said the people pass in the area or park there.

"It seems that the place, in itself, is subject to many [what do you call it?] passers-through and in fact, there are evidences of people who do park there," he said.

"But these are not military but mainly these are citizens who may be --- but this is not verified --- but mainly, these are citizens and not white or gray ships," Abella added.

Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano earlier said he received information that a Chinese flag mounted on a steel pipe was planted on a sand cay located seven nautical miles northeast off Kota Island.

He said it was discovered around third week of July 2017.

Alejano said the Chinese vessel allegedly erected the 3-meter high Chinese flag on a sand cay which is known to be within a Philippine-controlled area.

"These recently reported incidents only reveal that Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea have not stopped amid warmer relations between the Philippines and China," the congressman has said.

The Philippines, China, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan have been claiming partially or wholly the South China Sea. Celerina Monte/DMS