Pimentel: We need more facts on South China Sea

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MANILA, Philippines — Amid reports that China has installed anti-cruise ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers in the South China Sea, the Philippine government still need more information on the militarization in the disputed waters, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Monday.

The Senate is set to hold a hearing on President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy toward China but no date has been set yet.

Pimentel, in a television interview, said the Senate should play a more active part in the formulation of the country’s foreign policy.

“The participation of the Senate is only in concurring in the ratification of treaties already entered into by the executive branch… Since our Constitution already hints that the Senate has a role in foreign policy then we should also be hearing our issues or concerns regarding foreign relations, international issues,” Pimentel told CNN Philippines’ “The Source.”

The senator also pointed out that only China’s island-building has been confirmed but not its militarization of the man-made islands.

“We need more pictures… We need more information and then whether those were made for us again to be used against us. I do not think so,” Pimentel said.

Stressing that the Philippines is “close friends” with China, Pimentel said that the weapons are not directed at the country.

In May, American broadcast network CNBC was the first one to report that Beijing quietly deployed anti-cruise ship missiles on Fiery Cross Reef, Mischief Reef and Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands.

The Wall Street Journal had also reported that China appears to have installed military jamming equipment on Fiery Cross and Mischief Reef.

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/06/18/1825710/pimentel-we-need-more-facts-south-china-sea#uTL0pumTEpDtX5Cd.99

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