Illegal structures built on Philippines' islands in the West Philippine Sea
Regular maritime patrols along West Philippine Sea assured
MANILA – General Cirilito Sobejana, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, said maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea are regularly made by the AFP Western Command as part of the military’s constitutional mandate to protect the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights.
In a statement, the AFP said in one of these patrols made last Tuesday, March 30 over the “Pagkakaisa Banks” also known as Union Banks, a group of features that are within the Kalayaan Islands Group within the town of Kalayaan, Palawan, they documented manmade structures built on some of the features.
“These structures are illegal,” the AFP said. However, the military did not identify the structures in the area.
The Law of the Sea gives the Philippines indisputable and exclusive rights over the area, the statement read. The constructions and other activities, economic or otherwise, “are prejudicial to peace, good order, and security of our territorial waters.”
The AFPO said they have already informed higher civilian authorities including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of National Defense about the infractions into the country’s sovereignty.
“We assure every Filipino that our efforts to dutifully perform our mandate to protect and advance our national interests in the area continue unhampered,” the AFP statement concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)
(Handout Video from the Armed Forces of the Philippines)