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Gov’t monitoring Panatag

BANGKOK, Thailand – The Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday assured that the Philippines is keeping a close watch on Panatag or Scarborough Shoal on the West Philippine Sea following reports that China is preparing to build a monitoring station there.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said they are still awaiting China’s clarification on the reports.

The Philippines is reportedly planning to protest the planned construction, a report also said.

Manalo did not confirm or deny the statement of Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II in the Reuters report.

“Well, I just read that but let me say we already issued or requested China for clarification on this reported plan.

But let me also say that in the meantime, the Philippine government is maintaining a regular close watch over Scarborough Shoal,” he said.

Manalo also said that the completion of a framework for a Code of Conduct would eventually pave the way for the peaceful settlement of the disputes of the claimants on the South China Sea.

“I think we have made a significant breakthrough in the sense now that there is an understanding among ASEAN and China on the importance of coming up with a framework, for a Code of Conduct,” he said. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)

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Written by Tempo Online

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