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Roque: ‘We’re not selling our islands’



The Palace on Monday brushed off the call made by detained Senator Leila de Lima to probe the alleged potential sale of Cagayan’s Fuga, and Subic Bay’s Grande and Chiquita Islands.

In a televised briefing, presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque noted that foreigners are barred from buying and owning lands in the Philippines.

“Maybe she’s imagining a lot of things while she’s in jail,” Roque said. “Foreigners can’t own land in our country.”

His remarks came after De Lima on Saturday echoed Pinoy Action for Governance and the Environment’s call for an investigation into the alleged sale of the islands.

She also urged her colleagues to take action on Senate Resolution 93 that seeks the cancellation of the Chinese investor projects on the said islands, which were purportedly targeted for conversion to economic and tourist zones.

“To date, this resolution remains pending proper action as it languishes in the archives of the Senate. When are we going to act on this?” she said in a statement sent to reporters.

“Intrusions into our territory as well as into our exclusive economic zone should never be taken sitting down and should be acted on swiftly and decisively. All eyes must be on every attempt to dilute our sovereignty,” De Lima added.

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, for its part, has previously denied reports that China was taking over Fuga Island, insisting that there are no ongoing developments in the area.