National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. has assured that China has not seized the Sandy Cay, a sand bar near Pag-asa Island, regardless of the reported presence of Chinese ships within the space.
“The Chinese came too near, but did not occupy it,” Esperon mentioned in an announcement Sunday (August 20).
He mentioned there are a lot of vessels within the space, corresponding to fishing boats by the Chinese, Filipinos and Vietnamese; ships of the Philippine Navy and the Chinese Coast Guard.
Esperon made the assertion after Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio urged the federal government to protest towards the reported presence of Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island.
Carpio additionally requested President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano to ship navy ships within the space the place the Chinese vessels have been reportedly sighted.
“The very least that they could do now is to vigorously protest this invasion of Philippine territory by China,” he mentioned in an announcement.
“If both are courageous, they should send a Philippine navy ship to guard Sandy Cay, and if the Chinese navy ships attack the Philippine navy vessel, they should invoke the Phil-US Mutual Defense Treaty,” Carpio added.
Esperon maintained that the nation shouldn’t be giving up on Sandy Cay despite the fact that it’s claimed by China as its personal.
“We claim that Pag-asa is part of the Kalayaan municipality. China claims it to be part of theier territory inside the nine-dash line. Therefore the area remains as a disputed area,” he mentioned.