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President Duterte wants Palaweños to populate West Philippine Sea islands

President Duterte wants Palaweños to populate West Philippine Sea islands
By Ruth T. Rodriguez

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY (Philippines News Agency) — President Rodrigo Duterte, speaking to the men and women of the Western Command (WESCOM) here, said Thursday afternoon that he would be improving living facilities and build bunkers on the country’s claimed islands in the West Philippines Sea to encourage Palaweño residency and stress stronger ownership.

President Duterte, who was welcomed early Thursday afternoon by Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, other local government officials, and military officials and personnel at the Camp Antonio Bautista Airbase, said the first structures he would construct on each Philippine-claimed island would be bunkers, flagpoles, and homing facilities to encourage people to reside on Pag-asa, West Philippines Sea.

“We will put bunkers, we will raise Philippine flags, and we will populate there,” said President Duterte during his talk to the men and women of WESCOM.

Asked about the decrepit ship that is currently being used as shelters by soldiers belonging to the Philippine Marines Corps (PMC) on Ayungin Shoal, the President jested he would replace it with a luxury vessel.

President Duterte said what is needed is for Palaweños to help the country in its claim by living in Kalayaan since it is a municipality of the Philippines.

The President did not give any other details as his visit was brief. (PNA)

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