President Rodrigo Duterte could have nixed his plan to plant a flag on one of many islands within the disputed Spratlys Group within the South China Sea, however he nonetheless wants to go there, stated Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

In a go to to Pag-asa Island Friday (April 21), Lorenzana instructed reporters that Duterte wants to spend an evening there with Filipino soldiers.

“Gusto niya magpunta rito. Gusto niya nga mag-overnight dito. Sabi niya sa ‘kin, ‘We sleep with our troops,’” he stated.

Duterte earlier stated he wants to fly to Pag-asa Island to plant the Philippine flag in a bid to claim sovereignty over the realm. However, he canceled his plan just a few days later, citing the nation’s friendship with China.

Beijing has a sweeping declare over the South China Sea whereas a number of different Southeast Asian nations, together with the Philippines, have overlapping claims.