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Roque: Declare KIG a marine sanctuary, zone of peace

Kalayaan Group of Islands KIG

The Kalayaan Group of Islands (KIG) in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) in Palawan should be considered as a marine sanctuary and a “zone of peace” where no one can start a war in the area.

Unity Team senatorial candidate Harry Roque said he would refile the Kalayaan Group of Islands Development Authority bill he introduced in the House of Representatives as a party-list representative during the 17th Congress, if elected. The bill did not push through because Roque was appointed as presidential spokesperson.

Roque said the measure would preserve the natural resources in the Spratlys and stop China from abusing the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The Spratly Islands are being claimed wholly or in part by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei. Military analysts considered the Spratlys a potential flashpoint as China persists in following a long-term strategy of gradually extending its control over the entire South China Sea.

“Nandiyan po iyong pagpre-preserve ng Kalayaan Group of Islands bilang isang marine sanctuary nang matigil na ang agawan diyan,” Roque said.

He insisted that the Philippines owns the KIG, saying the country collects tax in the province and has a military base.

“Our prosecutor and our court are trying all crimes, and there are elected officials there,” Roque said, adding that KIG residents participate in all elections, like the coming elections in May, he further said.

“Nandiyan na ‘yung usapin paano maprepreserve ang ating kalikasan diyan, dahil isang kabahagi nung desisyon ng it laws ay mali ang ginagawa ng Tsina dahil nangingisda sila sa isang pamamaraan na nakakasira sa kalikasan,” Roque said.

He continued: “Nandiyan po ‘yuung pagprepreserve ng Kalayaan Group of Islands bilang isang marine sanctuary nang matigil na ang agawan diyan.”

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