MANILA President Rodrigo Duterte did not issue any order telling the military to stop its patrols in the West Philippine Sea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday.
He made this remark when asked on claims made by Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was ordered to stop patrolling the above-mentioned territory.
"Wala, there was no (such) order whatsoever, kahit nung (even in) 2016," Lorenzana stressed.
The DND chief added that President Rodrigo Duterte never made a hint on the matter.
"Hindi, at saka hindi niya ginawa 'yan (No, he did not do it), he did not even hint or he did not do it, he did not even hint that they stop patrolling, kaya regular tayo dyan eh, regular, yung eroplano kung masama ang panahon hindi kami (nagpa-patrol), pero pagka maganda (ang panahon) ikot nang ikot yung ating eroplano dyan (We conduct regular patrols there. Our planes do not patrol when the weather is bad. But if the weather is fine, our planes are regularly conducting patrols there)," he stressed.
Also, Lorenzana said that it is the AFP's mandate to protect the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency