MANILA—The military announced it is prepared to carry out President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to occupy Philippine-owned features in the Spratlys Island Chain.
This was confirmed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año on Friday.
“That’s an order from the President and I intend to carry that out. Those features (in the Spratlys Island Chain) are ours as per Arbitration Ruling, so we don’t see any problem,” he said in Filipino.
Año also said that all eight islands in the Spratlys under Philippine jurisdiction, and Ayungin Reef, are already occupied by Filipino troops.
“We will reinforce our troops and improve the structures and facilities there,” the AFP chief added
Año said areas that will be occupied by Philippine troops include submerged lands or rocks but the country will need to set up structures for this.
“I can not give you the numbers and location for security reasons,” he added.