Lacson visits Pag-asa Island amid tension in WPS
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant and Senator Panfilo Lacson visited Pag-asa (Thitu) Island and Puerto Princesa City in Palawan on Saturday for a consultation with local residents and fishermen and a meeting with members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command (WesCom) amid recent tension with China in the West Philippine Sea.
According to a statement from Partido Reporma, members of the AFP’s WesCom briefed Lacson on the status of the Pag-asa Island, the second largest island in the Spratlys and the administrative center of the town of Kalayaan.
“The visit is also part of his ongoing serious commitment to study the matter as one of the presidential aspirants seeking to lead the country in the next six years,” the statement read.
Also with Lacson are Partido Reporma president and former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, senatorial aspirant and former Philippine National Police chief Guillermo Eleazar, secretary-general and Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib, spokesperson Ashley Acedillo, and former Interior Secretary and National Unity Party chairman Ronaldo Puno.
Lacson is the current chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation.
His visit comes days after China Coast Guard vessels blocked and water cannoned Philippine boats on a supply mission to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
No one was hurt during the incident that took place on Tuesday but the boats had to abort their mission.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he had conveyed “in the strongest terms” the Philippine government’s “outrage, condemnation and protest” to Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian and to China’s foreign ministry and demanded their ships to back off.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.