By Minka Tiangco
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Filipinos should not be worried about the Chinese businessmen who are planning to develop three strategic islands near the highly-contested West Philippine Sea in the northern Philippines.
Go said these Chinese nationals are just businessmen who want to secure jobs for themselves and for others.
“Kung makakatulong naman sa mga Pilipino, job opportunity, dadami po ang trabaho, mababawasan po ‘yong mga walang trabaho, pabor naman ako diyan (If it would help Filipinos get more job opportunities and lessen unemployment in the country, I am in favor of that),” he told reporters at the sidelines of the inauguration of a Malasakit Center in Valenzuela City Friday, August 9.
Earlier, Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said that although it may result in an economic boost, the government must also consider how these islands can “compromise” the country’s security.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said President Duterte knows about the proposals for the northern island of Fuga in Cagayan province and Grande and Chiquita islands near Subic Bay in Zambales province, which used to be a US naval base. However, he refused to give any more comments.
The former Presidential aide then assured Filipinos that Duterte will be the first one to defend the country’s territory.
“Unang-una po na magpo-proteksyon sa inyo ay ang ating Pangulo, ang gobyerno. Kung ano po ‘yong atin, sa Pilipino po ito, atin po ito, at ipaglalaban po ito ni President Duterte (The President and the government will be the first one to protect you. What is ours is ours, and President Duterte will fight for what belongs to us),” he said.