MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will protest China’s establishment of a maritime rescue center at the Kagitingan or Fiery Cross Reef once it is verified, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said yesterday.
Locsin agreed with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that the Philippines should contest China’s construction on the Philippine-claimed Kagitingan Reef.
“I, however, prefer engaging them openly on the floor of the UN General Assembly,” Locsin said on Twitter.
The Philippines has filed almost 20 protests against China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea without “fanfare,” the DFA chief added.
“SAJ Carpio, we’re doing that – 18 or 19, so far. No fanfare though; protest is intended for the Chinese not for hysterics in Manila who, sadly, are not foreigners but good God-fearing Filipinos so no need to CC protest to them. It gets in the way of diplomacy,” Locsin also tweeted.
Carpio earlier maintained that the Philippine government should file a protest to avoid the misunderstanding that it approves of China’s action at the Philippine-claimed reef and weaken the country’s claim over the disputed area.
But Carpio and Malacañang differed on how the Philippines should deal with China’s establishment of a maritime rescue center at Kagitingan Reef.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Filipinos should be “thankful” to China for building the center even as Malacañang vowed to oppose acts that intrude into Philippine sovereignty.