China missiles directed at us says Philippine ex-top lawyer

Former solicitor general strikes note against confidence expressed last week by a presidential spokesman

China missiles directed at us says Philippine ex-top lawyer
World Bulletin / News Desk
Contrary to the confidence that the presidential office expressed last week, the former Philippine government’s top lawyer on Tuesday expressed concern over Chinese missiles recently reported installed in the disputed South China Sea.

"It's false to say the missiles are not directed at us because it's a missile system. It's technically directed at everyone within the range of that missile system and we're nearest to that missile system. It is in fact directed at us," former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, who served until 2016, told news channel ANC on Tuesday.

Hilbay’s statement was in reaction to the confidence asserted by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque last week that the missiles are not directed at the Philippines because the country has “developed a close relationship and friendship” with China.

The Chinese missiles were reportedly deployed on Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef, Zamora (Subi) Reef, and Panganiban (Mischief) Reef.

Hilbay also brought up China’s “history of dishonesty” when it reclaimed areas in the disputed waters and built islands.

“They said this was for civilian purposes, not military. This was for weather purposes for the protection of the fishermen. Now we realize that they have militarized the area," he said.

Acknowledging that the Philippines could not do it on its own and would need the help of neighboring countries, Hilbay encouraged the government to file a formal protest against China's militarization in the South China Sea and invoke the ruling of an international tribunal which invalidated Beijing’s claims in the sea. Hilbay represented the Philippines at that tribunal.

Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, including a cluster of islands, reefs and atolls further south called the Spratlys. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims on the waters.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Mayıs 2018, 09:06