Duterte protecting 9 islets in West Phil Sea is an act of performing his mandate, says DFA

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said that President Rodrigo Duterte's command  for the military to occupy and protect nine islets in the West Philippine Sea is a proof that he is performing his mandate with respect to Philippine territory.

DFA Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said that the order is to occupy islets, which are no part of the disputed territory and are recognized to be ours.

“The aim is to improve the living conditions, safety and personal security of Filipinos in those areas,” Jose said.

“At the same time, we remain committed to improving our relations with China and other partners in the region,” he added.

He said the President attempted to be in good terms with other natons, yet "we have to maintain our jurisdiction now, at least the areas under our control.”

Nine islets are under the Philippine territory in the Spratlys region.

The largest of these is Pag-asa, an area under Palawan's fifth class town of Kalayaan.

The other islets are Ayungin Shoal, Lawak Island, Parola Island, Patag Island, Kota Island, Rizal Reef, Likas Island and Panata Island.

Source: Politics.com.ph