GLOBAL ONE NEWS (G1) — The call for the Philippines to protest China’s construction of a maritime rescue center in the contested Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef is growing.

The Department of National Defense said Monday, Feb. 4 it is supporting the Department of Foreign Affairs’ call to protest the Asian giant’s project in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reportedly said the department does not want China to keep “building things there so that it will make it permanent.”

This came after the Supreme Court’s senior associate justice and the foreign affairs secretary opposed the statement of the Malacañang Palace on the issue.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo previously said Filipinos “should be thankful” for the rescue center as it would benefit everybody, especially seafarers.

However, Judge Antonio Carpio insisted if the nation would not protest, it would implicitly give consent China the “right to occupy and use” the Philippine-claimed Kagitingan Reef.