Youth group seeks probe of plan to give China control of strategic PH islands
MANILA, Philippines — A youth group — the Kasama Ka sa Paglikha ng Arte at Literatura Para sa Bayan – UP Diliman (KALikha UPD) — urged the Senate on Wednesday to investigate the alleged sellout of two islands in Luzon to Chinese investors.
KALikha UPD was referring to the reported $298-million project of GFTG Property Holdings and Sanya CEDF Sino-Philippine Investment Corp. to develop the adjacent Grande and Chiquita islands, which are under the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
In Cagayan, the 10,000-hectare Fuga Island in Aparri town is also being eyed as the site of a $2-billion “smart city” development.
The group also called out the “continuous aggression” of China in the West Philippine Sea and the unauthorized probes in Philippine territories in the Pacific Ocean.
“Our national sovereignty is an issue of prime importance. We are talking about our statehood here. We must defend our territories at all cost,” Amber Quiban, the group’s national campaigns and advocacies officer, said in a statement.
“In the past, the Senate has started probing the questionable operations of POGOs in the country and the desire of Chinese telco DITO, but we have to demand more action from them. We cannot afford losing strategic and security critical islands to Chinese conglomerates which could harm us in the future,” she added.
The group also questioned the justification for the projects, pointing out that selling part of Philippine territory for the sake of development would be moot when ordinary Filipinos would not feel the progress that these transactions bring but only their negative effects.
“The net effect of these deals should be developed for all Filipinos, not just for some, and ultimately, not China,” Quiban said.
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