MALACANANG yesterday said there is no official report yet on the supposed establishment of a Chinese maritime rescue center in the Philippine-claimed Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef in the West Philippine Sea.
“With respect to that there has been no official report when that issue cropped up, I don’t know if there is now,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in Palace briefing
Panelo, however, assured Filipinos that the government is monitoring the contested areas.
“We are monitoring the area with respect to any violation…That’s the job of the National Security Council and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” he said.
Panelo, who is also President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, earlier said the latest China structure in the Kagitingan Reef would not affect the Philippines’ claims in the area, adding that the country should “be thankful” for the new facility.
The Chinese state-run Xinhua had reported that China has built a maritime rescue center in the Kagitingan Reef, which is part of the Kalayaan Island Group.