President Rodrigo Duterte made a directive on July 28 during the post-earthquake situation briefing in Batanes to make sure that Philippines’ ownership of islands in the northern part of the country will be preserved.
“You know I’ve been flying to the area where there was this epicenter. Baka iyon ‘yan. But there are two islands there that are big ones. Sabi ko kay mayor, is it ours? I do not see any [structure],” President Duterte said at the briefing.
“Pumunta ka siguro lagyan mo ng ano sort of a symbolic… Sayang eh. Agawan ngayon eh, nakawan ngayon ng lupa,” he added.
“We just got – we acquired some sort of a fast boat. You might want to ask the Coast Guard to – pumunta dito, mag-istambay lang, palit-palit lang, to patrol the island from time to time. Not everyday but just to assure that those islands will remain ours,” President Duterte said.
“Kasi mahirap na ngayon. Kung nakawan natin ang China baka upakan tayo doon ng mga missile na hindi natin kaya. But as much as possible I’d like to – that is one of the – well kaming lahat workers of government tayo, we are supposed to preserve the Republic of the Philippines,” he explained.
He said that whatever is ours – it should be very clear to everybody that it is ours.