FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of China occupied Subi Reef at Spratly Islands in disputed South China Sea April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Francis Malasig/Pool
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is unfazed by reports that allegedly the Chinese government has already installed weather facilities in some of the artificial islands in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said such report needs to be verified first.
“We have to get the confirmation of that because that is merely a news report,” Panelo said.
Knowledge on the alleged weather stations were recently heard from Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang who said: “China has begun operating a maritime observation center, a meteorological observatory and a national environmental and air quality monitoring station on reefs of the Nansha Islands.”
“These projects are designed to observe the maritime, hydrological, meteorological conditions and air qualities and provide such services as maritime warning and forecast, tsunami alert, weather forecast, air quality forecast and disaster prevention and relief,” the Chinese official added.
In case the report is true, the Duterte administration will definitely act on the matter.
“Certainly, the DFA will do its work and make the necessary diplomatic process,” Panelo assured.
Meanwhile, Malacañang has no specific details yet on the three joint exploration agreement that is supposed to be signed between the Philippines and China during the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)