Alejano Hits Cayetano Over Issue Of Dismissing Chinese Presence Near West Philippine Sea
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano hits Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano for dismissing the presence of Chinese ships in the West Philippine Sea.
On Thursday (August 17, 2017), Alejano has expressed his disappointment over statement of Cayetano regarding the reported presence of Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island, which is a part of the disputed West Philippine Sea.
The country’s top diplomat earlier stated that the presence of Chinese ships near the Spratly Islands should not cause alarm, which was disappointed Alejano who was concerned about the sovereignty rights of the Philippines.
“It is disheartening to hear our own DFA secretary brushing aside the unusual and suspicious presence of several huge militaries and civilian Chinese ships along with Chinese choppers surveying in the vicinity of our largest island for several days and stating that ‘it does not mean anything,” said by Alejano quoted by Philstar.
Alejano said that the Chinese presence near the disputed island is nothing compared to US vessels conducting freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea. He also explained that the United States has never been involved in grabbing island in the area.
The Magdalo representative also urged the Duterte administration to be transparent on its agreement with China about the issue on disputed waters.
Meanwhile, DFA spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was asking the Department of National Defense and the Philippine Coast Guard for an (–foul word(s) removed–)sment regarding the reported Chinese presence near maritime domain of the country.
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