Cayetano: No order from Duterte to stop patrol in West Philippine Sea
Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday denied the claim of Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano about the alleged order of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the maritime patrol in West Philippine Sea.
“This is a blatant lie,” Cayetano said in an ambush interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.
He said he was not sure if the information the congressman acquired was false or he was just trying to give people fake information in order for him to have more media exposure.
“I don’t know where it came from, I don’t know if he got a wrong information or he wants to give us fake information for him to be in newspaper after his announcement of running as senator,” he said.
Cayetano said he would look into Alejano’s statement that there were only few patrols in the West Philippine Sea and he agreed that the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy need more modern vessels.
But if Alejano was only giving the public fake information, he said “it’s a disservice to our people.”
He reiterated that the Duterte administration has a different approach in dealing with the territorial dispute.
“We are assuring you that we are taking all diplomatic action,” he said.
He made the statement after Alejano revealed that the Philippines has so far filed only one diplomatic protest against China despite its activities, including militarization, in the South China Sea.
“Because the previous administration, they are counting how many protests they have filed, how strong the protest is. They are not looking at the result,” he said.
“So far, I say it’s better because it’s producing results,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a radio interview, Alejano denied that the information he got was fake as he understood why the Armed Forces of the Philippines was denying his statement.
“I understand their job. They can always say we have not received that information or we have not received that instruction. That’s all. But to say that it’s fake and I’m only making up stories, I think that is already beyond their mandate,” he said.
Alejano earlier said that his information came from a high-ranking military official. Ella Dionisio/DMS