National Security Adviser Dr. Clarita R. Carlos (first from right) meets with PCSDS executive director Atty. Teodoro Jose Matta (second from left) and AFP officials in Palawan on August 17, 2022. (Photo from PCSDS)

National Security Adviser Dr. Clarita R. Carlos is in Palawan today to visit Pag-asa Island in Kalayaan town in connection with the country’s enforcement of national security and assertion of territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

Carlos arrived in Puerto Princesa City at around 6:00 a.m. and had a meeting with officials from Western Command (WESCOM), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and other law enforcement agencies.

After the meeting, she and Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, who was in charge of WESCOM, flew right to Kalayaan Island.

WESCOM spokesperson Major Cherryl Tindog said Carlos’ visit is a welcome development for WESCOM’s joint operations area in particular. She is among the few highest government officials to have visited Kalayaan Island.

NSA Dr. Clarita R. Carlos’ party with PCSDS and AFP officials at TOW West. (Photo from PCSDS)

“Her visit bespeaks of our common aspiration, strong stand, and unwavering dedication to protecting the people and the state under our responsibility,” Tindog said.

“Rest assured that we shall make her stay worthwhile and that there will be no stones unturned as to all matters of utmost significance. Hence, WESCOM’s commitment to national security and interests is and shall always be the order of the day,” she added.

Jovic Fabello, spokesman for the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS), said Carlos’s visit is related to a recent meeting of the National Task Force West, where she said she wanted to see how things really are on the ground.

“Napag-usapan sa meeting ng National Task Force West where PCSD is a member at sinabi ni Secretary Carlos na gusto niyang makita kung ano yung actual situation kaya napag-desisyonan niya na papasyal siya dito para tingnan yung situation sa Kalayaan, particularly sa Pag-asa at yung iba pang isla na sakop natin,” Fabello said.