“Our fisheries boats, coast guard ships and of course the navy and air force have strengthened [and] improved their capability to have more control over our domain which is the West Philippine Sea,” he said.
He also said that resolving the issue on the West Philippine Sea dispute through a diplomatic way is their priority.
“We have not abandoned any island, no island was taken from us since 2016, and we are strengthening our positions and possessions.”
Esperon also clarified the president’s statement when he said China is ‘in possession’ of some areas in the West Philippines.
“I think the President said—did not say that they are in possession, but they are in position,” he said. “So they have the positional advantage right now. And they have the equipment to enforce their position.”
However he agrees that China has strengthened their position in several disputed territories.