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Lorenzana: Duterte wants to stay overnight on Pag-asa Island

PAG-ASA ISLAND, Spratlys - President Rodrigo Duterte still wants to visit Pag-asa Island, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Friday.

Duterte may have canceled his plans to raise a flag on the disputed island on Independence Day, but Lorenzana said that the President still hopes to at least spend a night there.

"Gusto niya magpunta rito. Gusto niya nga mag-overnight dito. Sabi niya sa 'kin, 'We sleep with our troops,'" Lorenzana told reporters during his inspection at Pagasa Island.

"Maybe in the future. Ewan ko alam kung kailan 'yun," he added.

Duterte had planned to fly to Pag-asa Island on June 12, but canceled it to preserve good relations with China.

Lorenzana said that should the trip push through, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar will be present on the trip in his stead.

Meanwhile, Duterte ordered the improvement of the living conditions and quarters of the soldiers deployed to Pagasa.

A total of P1.6 billion has been set aside for the development of the island. —KG, GMA News