DFA says Chinese flag near Pag-asa not a concern
A Chinese flag was reported to be mounted by a Chinese vessel on Sand Cay, 2.5 miles from the Philippine-owned Pag-asa island in the disputed Spratly waters, said Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano.
In a press conference Tuesday, Alejano said the three-meter high Chinese flag was reportedly discovered in the third week of July.
“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,” he said.
Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said the issue was an invasion of territory and claimed that Chinese vessels are guarding Sand Cay.
Foreign Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano, in a separate interview, said no Chinese invasion would take place in the Philippine-controlled area.
“Let me assure you that there’s no more problem in that area as it has been resolved diplomatically. It is not true that there was an attempt to invade or steal the territory,” Cayetano said.
He said the presence of China near Philippine waters has no violent intent and is not a threat.
President Rodrigo Duterte said the claim of Chinese invasion was untrue.
“They are just there, but they are not claiming anything,” Duterte said.
He also said that the Philippines would not confront China over disputed territories, saying the country “will not win.”