No official report yet on rescue hub in WPS: Palace

MANILA MalacaAang on Monday said that there is no official report yet on the maritime rescue center allegedly being constructed on Kagitingan Reef in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

This as Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. agreed that the Philippines should protest the establishment of a maritime rescue hub once verified by relevant offices in the country.

With respect to that, there has been no official report. When I mentioned´┐Żor that issue cropped up, I don't know if there is now, Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo, meanwhile, assured that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continues to monitor the contested waters for possible violations.

We are monitoring the area with respect to any violation is that your question? That's the job of the National Security Council and the AFP, Panelo said.

Panelo also stressed the government continues to silently file protests against China for constructing establishments in the Philippine-claimed sea.

He (Locsin) said also that we have made 19 to 20 diplomatic protests silently. Because it goes in the way of diplomacy, Panelo said.

On Jan. 29, Chinese-state run news agency Xinhua reported that maritime rescue center is being constructed in the WPS to better protect navigation and transport safety."

The Philippines and Chinese governments are currently facing a maritime dispute over the WPS.

However, ties between the two countries improved after President Rodrigo R. Dutert set aside the international arbitration court's verdict that trashed China's nine-dash line map to give way to friendly bilateral talks. (PNA)

Source; Philippines News Agency

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