MANILA — A Chinese flag has been mounted on a sand cay located seven nautical miles off Kota Island in the West Philippines Sea, Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano said on Tuesday.
In a press conference at the House of Representatives, Alejano alleged that the Chinese flag was discovered in the third week of July and was planted by a Chinese vessel on a sand cay near a Philippine-owned island.
“According to the information that I received, a Chinese flag mounted on a steel pipe was discovered planted on a sand cay located seven nautical miles northeast off Kota Island,” Alejano said.
“It was discovered around the third week of July 2017. A Chinese vessel allegedly erected the said three-meter high Chinese flag on a sand cay which is known to be within a Philippine-controlled area,” he added.
Alejano expressed concern over the continuous activities of China in the disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea.
“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,” Alejano said.
In a separate interview, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said that the department has taken all diplomatic actions necessary within the conflict areas.
Cayetano also said the department will inform the public if the situation should be a cause for alarm.
“So let me assure you that despite the lack of details that we give you, we will tell you if there’s an alarming situation, or if the public is in danger, or if we are going to take or step up certain actions that need the public’s support or at the very least knowledge,” Cayetano said.
The DFA chief reiterated the Duterte administration has been consistent with its efforts to uphold the country’s territorial claims, as well as its claims for sovereignty and economic rights.
“We’re not giving up a single inch of our territory,” Cayetano said. PNA