Malacañang 'confident' Chinese missiles 'not directed' at PH
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said that while it is "concerned" about the reported installation of Chinese missiles in the Spratlys, they do not think the missiles are intended for the Philippines.
"With our recently developed close relationship and friendship with China, we are confident that those missiles are not directed at us," said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Friday, May 4.
Roque also referred to the islands where the missiles were reportedly deployed as "contested areas."
"We are concerned with the reported China’s missile deployments over the contested areas in the West Philippine Sea," said Roque.
However, Panganiban (Mischief) Reef is not disputed as the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in July 2016 that the Philippines has sovereign rights over it.
Aside from Panganiban Reef, Chinese missiles were reportedly deployed on Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef and Zamora (Subi) Reef, according to United States network CNBC, citing sources close to US intelligence.
China has already built a runway, two hangars, and two radomes for radar equipment, among other facilities, on Mischief Reef.
While confident that the administration's friendship with China ensures the missiles will not be used against Filipinos, Malacañang said the Philippines will still address the issue through "diplomatic means."
"Be that as it may, we would explore all diplomatic means to address this issue," said Roque. – Rappler.com