President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority to set aside a portion of Fuga Island in Cagayan province for use as a Philippine Navy base.
On August 10, Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo said the President ordered the allocation of 20 hectares on the strategically-located island “for a naval detachment.”
Juan Ponce Enrile, former senator and Cagayan native, issued a statement warning against letting China set foot on Fuga.
Enrile said, “It is like a dagger pointed at the very heart of the country.”
If China were to gain a foothold on Fuga, Enrile said the island could be used to control the entire Balintang Channel, the maritime border between the Philippines and Taiwan.
Fuga, with a population of about 2,500, is a coastal town in the Babuyan archipelago, which has access to both the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea.
It is privately-owned by Isla Fuga Pacific Resort Incorporated and is only being managed by Ceza.