Duterte 'interested' extending Batanes runways

Duterte 'interested' extending Batanes runways

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte while doing an aerial inspection of the damages in the quake hit areas in Itbayat, Batanes looking forward to the future said he would like to extend the airport runaway in Batanes, saying that the move could be a “very crucial factor in the days to come.”

During the briefing with the members of the media, the president said extending the airport runaway in the northern most province would be beneficial to national security.

“I’m interested in the project of extending both the runways for our national security reasons. It could be a very crucial factor in the days to come,” he said. “It will be good if we are prepared so that… We have to defend those islands there, you have to have a launching deck somewhere here.”

Pres. Duterte (photo credit to owner)

Duterte made the remark after he directed the Philippine Coast Guard        (PCG) to patrol the Batanes Islands to ensure they would  “remain ours.”

“I’ve been flying here in the area of the epicenter,” he said. “There are two islands — big ones. I told the mayor [Raul de Sagon]: It is ours? I don’t see any — put something, sort of a symbolic… Stealing land has become common. The Chinese started it,” the President, speaking partly in Filipino, said.

“You might want to ask the Coast Guard to just go on standby. Take turns patrolling the islands from time to time — not every day, but just to assure that those islands will remain ours. We’re in a difficult situation now. If we steal back from China, it might retaliate with a missile. We can’t take that.”

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Report from PDI

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