Alejano, itinanggi na mali ang impormasyon na itigil ang pagpapatrolya sa WPS

Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano on Sunday denied that he received wrong information about the supposed Malacañang order for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to stop patrolling the West Philippine Sea.

"'Yung information na ito, I got hold of this information personally, first-hand information some months ago," Alejano told Super Radyo dzBB in an interview.

"Hindi kuryente 'yan. I am 100 percent sure because the person, the source has the authority to say that and he relayed to me the information personally," he added.

Alejano first disclosed the information in a news forum on Saturday, which he said he got from his sources in the military.

"Ayun ang information na nakuha natin na 'wag na tayong magsayang ng oras sa West Philippine Sea kasi wala rin naman mangyayari. Gagastos tayo ng fuel diyan wala rin naman mangyayari... so 'wag na kayo mag-patrolya," he said during the media forum.

In the radio interview on Sunday, Alejano refused to name his source, which he said holds a high position in the military.

The information, he added, was delivered to his source in a meeting.

"Merong instruction na huwag na magpatrolya sa Scarborough Shoal and West Philippine Sea kasi nga wala din namang effect 'yan at baka ma-offend pa ang China," Alejano said.

However, he said that a compromise was made in order for the military to still perform its mandate to protect the areas in the disputed area, but it is "hardly followed."

"Nagkaroon ng, in a way, negotiation or discussion. Nag-compromise na lang na isang patrolya na lang kada buwan para hindi nila magagawa ang kanilang mandato. So minomonitor natin ang activities diyan," Alejano said.

"Ngayon, kahit itong isang patrolya kada buwan, it is hardly followed. Kasi minsan may lagpas ng isang buwan, minsan may tatlong buwan na wala pa ring patrolya. So 'yun lang ang konteksto ng discussion," he added.

Alejano also said that even before he received such information, President Rodrigo Duterte already announced earlier that he would not be patrolling the West Philippine Sea, but only the 12-nautical mile territorial sea.

"Ayaw niya sumali doon sa mga exercise doon sa exclusive economic zone at ayaw niyang magpatrolya doon sa exclusive economic zone. Sinabi niya na 'yun before I even received the information," he said.

The lawmaker said he was only disclosing such information to give voice to those who cannot publicly air their concerns.

"Nire-relay natin 'yan dahil gusto nating ipakita na may mga nangyayari sa ground na hindi naman tugma doon sa mga sinasabi in public. And it is my principle and policy not to say something without basis. Hindi ako nag-iimbento ng kuwento," he said.

Alejano said the military has been relaying information to them as they themselves might not have been satisfied with the government's response to the territorial dispute.

"Kung natutuwa naman na tama ang direction at satisfied naman ang executive department, hindi magbibigay ng information sa akin 'yan o maglalabas ng hinaing in a way," he said.

"Make no mistake: I support the independent foreign policy na makatotohanan, hindi 'yung pagyayakap at pag-aaway sa kabila. When we pursue our national interest, hindi tayo dinidiktahan," he added.

AFP spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo, in a statement given Saturday, has already denied Alejano's claims.

“For the record, there is no such order coming from the Commander-in-Chief. As a matter of fact, our maritime and aerial patrols continue—contrary to such information allegedly received by the Party-list Congressman," he said.

Source: GMA News
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