No Chinese flag was planted in the sandbar near Kota Island » Manila Bulletin News

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By Francis Wakefield 

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Eduardo Año Tuesday reiterated that no Chinese flag was planted in the sandbar near Kota (Loaita) Island.

In an interview, Año explained that what was found planted was only an indigenous pole with sort of plastics and sacks.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff General Eduardo M. Año
(EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“It was not a Chinese flag, it was just an indigenous pole with sort of plastics and sacks para, tingin namin ginawa itong guide para sa mga naglalayag,” Año told reporters during the send-off ceremony of the 105-strong, all-female Civil Relations Company (CRC) to Marawi City, held at Villamor Airbase, Pasay City on Tuesday.

“No, hindi tayo but we are the ones that removed, tinanggal natin yun,” he added.

Año assured that all nine islands within Spratlys, namely: Kota, Pag-asa, Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, Lawak (Nanshan) Island, Parola (Northeast Cay) Island, Patag (Flat) Island, Rizal (Commodore) Reef, Likas (West York) Island and Panata (Lankiam Cay) Island are being tightly guarded by government forces.

“Meron tayong mga kaukulang pwersa dyan. Lahat ng nine islands, reefs and atolls ay may mga sundalo,” Año said.

“Ang priority natin ay ma improve ang kalagayan ng Pag-asa Island lalo na iyung pag refurbish at pag renovate ng runway,” Año said.

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