“Never allow the Fuga island group to fall in the hands of or to be controlled by any foreign power, directly or indirectly, and most especially a foreign power like red China,” former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said in a statement.
Fuga island group is composed of Fuga, Barit and Mabbag. “These islands are located 30 kilometers off the Northern Coast of Luzon. They belong to the town of Aparri, Cagayan, but they are closer to the town of Claveria at the western end of the province,” Enrile said.
“I have no beef against red China. I am simply doing my duty to my country. I am simply warning my countrymen to be very alert and careful in dealing with other nations and peoples whose national or personal interests my differ from the national interests of my own native land,” he said.
The former senator explained that Fuga island group is very important and strategic to the country’s national security.
“It is like a dagger pointed at the very heart of the country. If it falls into the hands of a foreign power with immense global ambition to achieve and great national interest to preserve, it will certainly cause the country a very serious and dangerous security problem,” he said.
“If red China were to occupy those three islands, it would surely use them as Naval and Air Force Bases to complement her military base in Hainan province and its man-made heavily fortified artificial islands in the South China Sea. That would immensely enable red China to control that sea lane in South China Sea. And should that happen, it would certainly hurt us, hurt Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and also the United States. Almost one-third of total global trade passes through that sea lane,” he said.
He also said that getting hold of Fuga island group, China would dominate the whole Balintang channel which is between the Babuyan island group in the north of Luzon and the province of Batanes – all the way to the Strait of Luzon between the Philippines and Taiwan.
“It would also give the Chinese Liberation Army a convenient logistic base to support whatever activity red China has in mind to do in the area of Benham Rise or Philippine Rise, which is only 350 kilometers away to the east from the Fuga island group,” Enrile added.