Palace: No connection between Palawan split, sea dispute with China
MANILA, Philippines – The signing into law of a bill splitting Palawan into three provinces has nothing to do with the country’s maritime dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued this statement as he dismissed the warning of opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros that China will now have the opportunity to infiltrate and influence smaller government units.
“Walang connection. Eh, kahit naman walang probinsya kung gustong mag infiltrate ng mga lokong ‘yan, eh. Parang wala namang koneksyon naman yun (There is no connection. Even if there are no provinces, if China wants to infiltrate, they will do so. There is really no connection),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
He said that the concept of divide and conquer happens only in politics.
“Divide and conquer? Sa politika lang ‘yan dito sa atin,” he said.
On April 5, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law dividing Palawan into three provinces – Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental and Palawan del Sur.
The law stated that the three provinces would only be created upon the approval by the majority of affected residents through a plebiscite set on the second Monday of May in 2020.
Panelo added that it was now up to the people of Palawan to decide on their fate./gsg
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