MANILA – The Philippine military on Wednesday installed markers on two islands north of Cagayan to assert sovereignty in the country’s maritime territory.
The Northern Luzon Command, in a statement, said it placed sovereign markers at Mabaag and Barit Islands in Aparri, Cagayan in addition to the 11 markers installed last year in uninhabited islands north of the province within the Babuyan Channel.
It said the markers were placed in “prominent areas…making them clearly visible to vessels transiting the waterways in the country’s northern maritime territory.”
“These islands and their surrounding territorial waters are an integral part of the country’s territory. Thus, these markers will help us ensure that our sovereignty will be recognized in these areas,” said Commodore Caesar Valencia, commander of Naval Forces Northern Luzon.
The maritime territory must be secured as it is a “key source of livelihood due to its abundant marine resources and a strategic trading route to boost our economy,” said Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Burgos Jr, commander of Northern Luzon Command.