From Philippine Defense Forces Forum:
The China enabler lives up to his role. Bong Go defends China’s plan to ‘develop’ three strategic islands facing the West Philippine Sea, says the Chinese are simply businessmen who want to generate jobs for Filipinos.
This despite the warning from the AFP that allowing China to occupy Fuga in Cagayan province and Grande and Chiquita islands near Subic Bay in Zambales province would compromise national security.
“It would help Filipinos get more job opportunities and lessen unemployment in the country, I am in favor of that”, Bong Go said.
Senate To Probe The Chinese Proposal
A resolution seeking probe on the possible strategic maritime and security implications of the reported plan to develop three Philippine islands with the help of Chinese investors has been filed in the Senate.
In filing Resolution 74, Senator Risa Hontiveros expressed alarm over the reported plan of Chinese investors to develop three strategic islands — Fuga, Grande, and Chiquita, as well as the property formerly known as Island Cove Resort—into economic hubs.
She said the islands — Fuga in Cagayan Province and adjacent Grande and Chiquita Islands in Subic Bay, Zambales province — play strategic roles in the country’s national security.
“Are we witnessing a creeping annexation?” Hontiveros asked.
“Amid China’s aggressive behavior in the West Philippine Sea, it is baffling that the Duterte government allowed this to happen. These are no ordinary islands. These parcels of land are strategic maritime fronts that play a significant role in our military history, which only proves how invaluable they are to our national security,” she added.
The resolution stated the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with Xiamen-based Fong Zhi Enterprise Corp for the development of a $2 billion “Smart City” on Fuga Island in the Babuyan archipelago.
It said the Philippine Navy considers Fuga Island as a strategic feature as it controls access to the Luzon strait, both sides of the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.
It added Fuga Island also contains a private airfield on an adjacent islet and lies astride a submarine telecommunications cable connecting the Philippines with mainland Asia.
Meanwhile, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority entered into an agreement with GFTG Property Holdings and the Sanya CEDF Sino-Philippine Investment Corp for the development of the Grande and Chiquita Islands.
The resolution stated that both islands were previously used as military outposts by both Spain and the United States during their colonization of the Philippines and sit at the mouth of Subic Bay, some 260 kilometers/140.389 nautical miles from the disputed Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippine Navy has already expressed concern over the reported plan to develop the islands of Fuga, Grande and Chiquita, pointing out that the plan has maritime and security implications.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday also warned that plans by the government to allow Chinese investors to develop three tiny but strategic islands could “compromise” the country’s security.
Hontiveros also included in the resolution the development of the 32-hectare Island Cove Resort property in Kawit, Cavite, purchased by a still-unknown investor and converted into a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) complex with housing facilities for an estimated 20,000 foreign workers.
Island Cove is approximately 3.5 kilometers from Danilo Atienza Air Base, home of the Philippine Air Force’s 15th Strike Wing, and Naval Base Heracleo Alano, containing the Naval Sea System Command, which operates the Armed Forces of the Philippines’s (AFP) largest industrial complex – the military shipyards providing repair and maintenance for all Navy ships and aircraft.
Hontiveros said that the investments financed by Chinese money are unsettling and will put the country’s military and national security in an undeniably vulnerable position.
“We look to the Senate to rise to the occasion and to seek the truth. We hope that the investigation is conducted through the lens of Filipino values that uphold our integrity, sovereignty and dignity,” she said.
“May we never trade our dignity and sovereignty for investments. May the price paid for development and progress never be the Filipinos ourselves,” she added