Lacson Plants PH Flag at Pag-asa Island

Sen. Lacson’s Arrival Statement after Visit to Pag-asa Island:

We came from a visit to one of the most beautiful places in the country, the island called Pagasa, meaning hope, belonging to the municipality of Kalayaan meaning freedom, in the middle of the West Philippine Sea.

Hope for Pagasa in Kalayaan. Hope for lasting peace and tranquility in the WPS area, and freedom of navigation for all nations to enjoy.

As we were approaching the airstrip in the island, our pilot was challenged by one of the Chinese Coast Guard vessels stationed a little beyond the 3-nautical mile distance from the island of Pagasa.

As we landed on the airstrip, nakabasa ako ng text, “Welcome to China.” This is unusual.

A few days ago, last Nov 16, two supply vessels of our PH Navy were blocked and sprayed with salt water coming from high pressure water cannons of at least three Coast Guard vessels belonging to the PROC. This is totally unacceptable. Our leadership should take a more positive and definite stand or position along this line. But what can we do? We are a weak country and China is a powerful country militarily.

It’s good we visited the island. As I have been saying Balance of Power. We cannot do it alone, we need to strengthen our alliances with different countries of the world. EU, US, Australia, Japan, even Canada, as well as other ASEAN neighbors. Ito ang pwede nating gawin.

As we received a briefing from Wescom commander Lt Gen Enriquez ito kasama sa discussion namin. I suggested to him to influence our national leadership to go in that direction. Kasi we’re so helpless. Parang ‘Welcome to China,’ tapos being challenged by a Chinese Coast Guard vessel, parang we’re encroaching on their territory. Ang incident sa Ayungin is unacceptable

As we went around the island and talked with the fisherfolk beneath the difficulties in life there is the sense of patriotism. 193 inhabitants, 1 elementary school, 2 teachers teaching 34 students multigrade. Government must really step in.

It’s good the AFP may construction going on. Ito kasama sa budget ng AFP ine-extend ang airstrip to 1300 para maka-land ang regular aircraft like the one we were using. Kanina we changed planes kasi maiksi ang airstrip.

Ito ang natutunan namin from the inhabitants. And the leadership must respond to give them that sense of belonging to the country, pati ang ating sense of territorial integrity. Because we should enjoy sovereign rights … And here we are, ganoon ang nangyayari. Tayo ang china-challenge, tinataboy. Pathetic to say the least.