Kalayaan protesters: We have lost Pag-asa Island to China


The group of youth volunteers who made a symbolic protest against Beijing’s claims in the West Philippine Sea on Monday claimed that the Philippines “has lost” the Pag-asa Island to China.

In a statement, the group Kalayaan Atin Ito Movement said China’s actions on the Pag-asa Island, which is part of the Philippine-claimed Kalayaan chain, “blatantly violates our sovereignty and clearly disregarded international law that is suppose to rule the sea.”

China claims most of the South China Sea, but the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also have overlapping claims within the territory. Manila refers to parts of the South China Sea that it claims as West Philippine Sea.

The group said China has built a “triangle militarized zone” from Fiery Cross Reef to Subi Reef and Mischief Reef, where even the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also has difficulty passing through.

“We have lost to China the heart of the Kalayaan Island Group Municipality through their triangle militarized zone,” the group said. “Inside this triangle, are the other military bases that China has built.”

It added that China “is walking the talk when it declared that it will not heed to whatever will be the result of the ongoing arbitration and will continue to militarize the West Philippine Sea and do whatever they want because they claim that it belongs to them.”

The group said China was building a secured military storage for their weapons that it “will become impossible for any opposing military power to destroy these facilities” without destroying Palawan and other islands in Luzon and Mindanao.

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