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Alejano slams Malacañang: Good faith has long been breached in Kagitingan Reef

Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano on Wednesday hit Malacañang for saying there is "no breach of good faith" in transforming into an airbase the Kagitingan Reef or Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed South China Sea.

In a press statement, Alejano said good faith has long been breached by China when it comes this issue, which continues until now.

"China says one thing in public, but does another on the ground," he said.

At a press briefing Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace's reliance on China's good faith is based on the country's commitment not to embark on new reclamation activities.

"Kagitingan is one of the islands that it had already reclaimed…When we invoke the good faith of China, it is against making further reclamations and not making further works on islands that it had already reclaimed," Roque said.

The Defense Department has said that it will ask the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to file a diplomatic protest if it will be proven that China has deployed soldiers and weapons on Kagitingan Reef.

"We are going to urge [the DFA] to make a protest if we can see that the Chinese are militarizing the area na very near our place, Fiery Cross is very near Reed Bank, malapit din ‘yan sa ating barko na nakasadsad doon, sa Sierra Madre," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

But Alejano said China's aggressive reclamation activities since 2012, along with the increasing militarization in the West Philippine Sea, only further shows a "double-faced" China.

The Kagitingan Reef, Alejano cited reports, has now developed into an airbase with several military facilities.

More than 200 soldiers were also reported to have been stationed there.

"Unfortunately, the Duterte administration - our government itself - keeps on justifying China's actions proving its subservience to the latter. This only brings further detriment to our territorial claims and national security," he said. — RSJ, GMA News