Philippine military has occupied nine islands, features in Spratlys :Lorenzana
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the military is already occupying areas that the Philippines is claiming in Spratlys.
“We have nine islands in the Kalayaan Island Group or KIG that are already in our possession since long ago including Pag asa,” said Lorenzana.
“We have Philippine Marine troops in every one of them,” he said.
Lorenzana said President Rodrigo Duterte “wants facilities built such as: barracks for the men, water (desalination) and sewage disposal systems, power generators (conventional and renewable), light houses, and shelters for fishermen.”
Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, said maybe the president is referring to areas that were occupied by the Philippine military.
The nine islands and features occupied by the Philippine military are Ayungin Shoal, Pagasa Island, Lawak, Parola, Patag, Kota, Rizal Reef, Likas, and Panatag.
Duterte also said he will visit Pagasa Island, the largest area that the country occupied in Spratlys, by June of this year.
When asked for possible escalation of tension with China because of Duterte’s planned visit, Padilla said “I would not suppose (it will be) so because we have opened up bilateral consultations with the Chinese and they have always mentioned that everything will be always be discussed peacefully.” Robina Asido/DMS