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No way for Philippines to confirm China weather stations — Lorenzana

/ 05:24 PM December 04, 2018
Chinese structures and buildings on the man-made Subi Reef at the Spratlys chain of islands are seen from the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island off the disputed South China Sea in western Philippines Friday, April 21, 2017. Philippine Defense Secretray Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano and other officials flew to the Thitu Island Friday to assert the country's claim to the heartland of a disputed area where China is believed to have added missiles on man-made islands. The South China Sea issue is expected to be discussed in the 20th ASEAN Summit of Leaders next week. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Chinese structures and buildings on the man-made Subi Reef at the Spratlys chain of islands are seen from the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island off the disputed South China Sea in western Philippines Friday, April 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

There seems to be no way for the Philippine government to find out if China has indeed put up weather stations in the West Philippine Sea.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Western Command in Palawan was not able to verify “physically” the existence of the facilities. This even if China has announced last October about its operation of weather stations it constructed in Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef), Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef), and Zamora Reef (Subi Reef) – the three biggest China-controlled outposts in the Spratly Islands.

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The weather stations include a maritime observation center, meteorological observatory, and a national environmental and air quality monitoring post.

“I don’t think the Wescom was able to find out physically kung andun talaga ang weather stations because if you look at the map of the reclaimed islands there are so many structures, we don’t know which one is there,” Lorenzana said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source.

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The Philippine military, which gets consistently challenged by China during air patrols, could also not fly above the islands but just around it, he explained.

There was also no “big deal” with the weather stations compared to the radars installed by China.

“We should be concerned sa radars that radars can neutralize our communications, to jam our communications, radars that can guide missiles to destination. That’s what we are concerned about not the weather stations,” he said.

But it seems the government could not verify the presence of radars, either.

“We cannot go there and inspect them physically,” Lorenzana said. /kga

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TAGS: China, Delfin Lorenzana, Local news, Nation, national news, news, Philippine news updates, Rodrigo Duterte, South China sea, weather stations, West Philippine Sea
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