By Mario Casayuran
Opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan said today there is absolutely no need for government to deploy over 600 personnel from the ranks of the police, armed forces, coast guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and civic groups in Boracay island during its six-month closure.
‘’Boracay island is a tourist destination with a long coastline of soft, white sand beach. It is not a conflict area or a war zone. There are no terrorists or invaders in Boracay,’’ he said.
Ironically, the Philippine government is not lifting a finger even if China’s aircraft freely landed on Mischief Reef recently even if the area is within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines as ruled upon by the United Nations (UN) tribunal, he said.
‘’Also, China has unveiled a monument in Fiery Cross Reef on Spratly Islands to mark its construction activities there — an area also within our exclusive economic zone based on the same UN ruling, to which the government’s response appears to be meek submission,’’ he stressed.
‘’It is a shame that the administration is deploying the military, police, and the coast guard in Boracay while China has been blatantly trespassing in our territory and disrespecting our sovereignty,’’ he added.
Pangilinan said the only threat to the Boracay island and its residents is the government that ordered Boracay’s closure without a plan for the 36,000 people who will lose their jobs.
He said that it is ironic that the government could express so much love to China’s President Xi Jin Ping but could not be bothered to provide jobs for the displaced Boracay workers.