MANILA, Philippines —Commenting on the presence of Chinese ships near a Philippine-occupied feature in the West Philippine Sea, pro-Duterte blogger Sass Rogando Sasot argued in a series of social media posts on Tuesday that waters around Pag-asa island in the Spratlys “remain international waters.”
“As long as the sovereignty issue over the Spratlys hasn’t been resolved, those waters remain international waters,” Sasot wrote on her Facebook page, which has almost 700,000 followers.
“Are the waters around Pag-Asa Island ‘traditional fishing grounds’ of coastal states of South China Sea? YES, just like the waters of Scarborough Shoal,” she added.
The Philippine military has confirmed that hundreds of Chinese ships have been loitering near Pag-asa, also known as Thitu Island.
In a rare rebuke, President Rodrigo Duterte earlier warned China to “lay off” of Pag-asa Island, one of the largest features in the Spratly chain, or he will send his troops on a “suicide mission.”