“We will conduct our own inquiry,” says Panelo on China missile test

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo holds a press briefing on July 4, 2019. (Eagle News Service)


(Eagle News) – The Philippine government will conduct its own inquiry regarding the alleged missile test recently conducted by China near Spratly Islands.

“We will investigate on our own. We will do it our way,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday, July 4.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier said that it would be conducting its own inquiry into the matter.

Panelo said that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had already talked about the matter.

“We will make our official stand. We will not rely on the say-so of whatever source,” he said.

Earlier, the US military confirmed that China had test-fired at least one anti-ship missile recently in the area around the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

The Pentagon said this was “disturbing.”

“The Pentagon was aware of the Chinese missile launch from the man-made structures in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands,” said spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn in a CNN report.

“What’s truly disturbing about this act is that it’s in direct contradiction to President Xi’s statement … that he would not militarize those man-made outposts,” Eastburn said.

NBC News which first reported about the missile test said that China released a notice to mariners on Saturday that it would be conducting military exercises until Wednesday, July 3, in a large area of the South China Sea.