Sotto thinks gov’t knows about China’s weather stations in Spratlys
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III believes the Philippine government has knowledge about the three weather observation stations reportedly set up by China in three reefs of the Spratly islands.
In a report of the South China Morning Post quoting Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, it said that China installed the weather stations on Kagitingan, Subi, and Panganiban Reefs in the West Philippine Sea.
Sotto said he is privy to the dialogues between the country’s executive department and the leaders of China regarding the disputed waters, and that it has been established that China “(does) agree that those areas are ours.”
“(K)ung meron mang gagawin doon, exploratory expeditions, or anything to that effect na gagawin doon, it will be with the concurrence of the Philippine government,” he said in a news forum.
“’Pag may papasukin na kung anong bagay doon, hindi maaaring hindi natin alam at kung alam man, kasali tayo, sigurado ang usapan 60-40,” the Senate President also said.
Sotto was then categorically asked if the government knows about the weather observation stations that China installed in the West Philippine Sea.
“Siguradong may mga coordination na iyan. I think so,” he replied.
But he refused to disclose further information, saying he is not authorized to do so.
“Ayoko lang mag-elaborate because I am not authorized. I am just saying na mayroong ganoong mga pangyayari na maganda ang magiging outlook natin with China,” he said.
Sotto’s remarks, however, were conflicting with the latest statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who said Tuesday that the Department of Foreign Affairs is still verifying the report on China’s weather stations in the West Philippine Sea.
The Spratly is a group of islands located off the west coast of Palawan province. /kga
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