MANILA — There are no orders coming from President Rodrigo Duterte directing the military to stop patrolling the West Philippine Sea.
This was the remark of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo in an interview with DZBB radio on Sunday, after opposition lawmaker Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano claimed that Duterte ordered the AFP to stop patrolling the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“We did not receive such information, we have contacted our AFP chief (Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr.) and our Western Command in Palawan, and all of them said that the Commander-in-Chief did not issue such an order,” he said in Filipino.
Arevalo added that military air and sea patrols are ongoing as it is part of its mandate of protecting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Your AFP is continuing to perform its mandate,” he stressed.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go had earlier clarified that Duterte did not order the AFP to stop guarding the disputed area.
“The president will not order that. First of all, what’s ours is ours. We will patrol in those areas,” Go said on Saturday. PNA-northboundasia.com