General Discussion > Kalayaan Island Group and Other Disputes

Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last

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Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea

Published April 6, 2017 3:38pm
Updated April 6, 2017 7:01pm
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to seize islands in undisputed Philippine territory in the South China Sea.

Duterte said he also plans to go to Pag-Asa Island to raise the Philippine flag on Independence Day.

"We tried to be friends with everybody but we have to maintain our jurisdiction now, at least the areas under our control. And I have ordered the Armed Forces to occupy all -- these so many islands, I think nine or 10 -- lagyan ng structures and the Philippine flag," he told reporters after talking to the soldiers at the AFP Western Command (WESCOM) in Camp General Artemio Ricarte in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

"And sa coming Independence Day natin, I might, I may go to Pag-asa island to raise the flag there," he added.

Duterte said he was willing to let the government spend for fortifications in the said islands.

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- See more at:

I'm curious to see how many soldiers will be deployed, and to what extent...

In any case, I think it's great the Philippines is beginning to (non-violently) asset its claims.


--- Quote ---In a report by ABS-CBN News, Duterte declared in a press conference:‎ “I will ask the Navy to bring me to the nearest point in South China Sea that is tolerable to them and I will ride a jet ski‎. I will carry a flag and when I reach Spratlys, I will erect the Filipino flag. I wil tell them (Chinese), Suntukan o barilan?”

This is Duterte’s alternative to going against China’s much superior firepower which he said would end up as a massacre. “Ano ako gago? Patay lahat yan,” said Duterte.
--- End quote ---


Palace: Independence Day at Pag-asa part of Duterte's independent foreign policy
By Patricia Lourdes Viray ( | Updated April 7, 2017 - 5:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to celebrate Independence Day on Pag-asa Island would be symbolic of the administration's independent foreign policy, a Malacañang official said Friday.

Duterte earlier said that he might visit Pag-asa, an area under Kalayaan town in Palawan, on June 12 to mark Independence Day.

"In the coming Independence Day, I might, I may go to Pag-asa Island to raise the flag there," Duterte told reporters on Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that Duterte's announcement of his plans to improve Pag-asa Island is part of his mandate to serve the best interests of the nation.

The president vowed to support improvements and repairs of the runway on the island.

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Duterte takes China’s advice not to raise PH flag on Pag-asa Island
Published April 14, 2017, 12:05 AM
By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos and Reuters

Riyadh– President Duterte has taken the advice of China not to raise the Philippine flag on Pag-asa Island and fortify its barracks there as it might cause quite a stir among claimants of the disputed South China Sea.

During a meeting with the members of the Filipino community here Wednesday night, Duterte said he is cancelling his earlier declaration of personally going to that island to plant the Philippine flag.

“Kasi sabi ng China (Because China said), what will happen if every head of state of contending parties there around the West Philippine Sea will go there to plant the flag? There will likely be trouble,” he said.

Though the island is administered as part of Kalayaan, Palawan, it is also being claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The 37.2-hectare Pag-asa Island, the second largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands, lies 480 kilometers west of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

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“They said, do not go there in the meantime, just do not go there please. I will correct myself because we value our friendship with China,” he said, adding that he might just send his son to the island.

“It [China] has benefited us in so many ways. Gumanda ang buhay natin (Our lives have improved),” he said.

“Maybe I’ll send my son. Just to show to the other claimants that the blood of the Filipino is in the disputed islands,” he said in a jest.

Earlier, Duterte had instructed the Armed Forces of the Philippines to build houses there.

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