MANILA - Prove me wrong.
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano on Monday challenged Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano to prove that the Philippines is still in control of Sandy Cay.
The opposition lawmaker said he received information from a well-placed source that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to stop the patrols in the West Philippine Sea.
"I believe this is still the present situation in the West Philippine Sea as also affirmed by the fishermen on the ground," he said in a statement.
Cayetano debunked Alejano's statement and called the lawmaker as liar.
He then offered Alejano to be escorted to Sandy Cay, a geological feature near the Philippine-held Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island) in the West Philippine Sea.
Alejano said he accepts Cayetano's offer and hopes the latter will be true to his words.
"While it is a letdown that Secretary Cayetano chickened out from the challenge to go to Sandy Cay with me, I hope I can rely on his words that he will have me escorted there," he said.
"I will request then the Department of National Defense to allow me to join their next resupply mission in Pag-asa."
The former Marine officer said he would rather be proven wrong.
"For the country’s sake and our fishermen’s welfare, I do hope I am wrong. Since Secretary Cayetano insists that we control Sandy Cay then we should be able to see markers in the area," he said.