Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Command chief said that Palawan-based troops are monitoring China’s alleged deployment of surface-to-air missiles in the Paracel Islands and that the troops have planned for “the worst-case scenario” in the West Philippine Sea.

Diagram including a satellite image of the beach from Feb. 14. (ImageSat International)##########missile18##########IMAGESAT INTERNATIONAL
A U.S. official confirmed that China has placed a surface-to-air missile system on Woody Island in the Paracel chain. (ImageSat International)

The military “plans for the worst-case scenario in specific situations and the troops under WesCom are conditioned for such instances,” Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez said.

Lopez also said that the military is “continuously monitoring developments.” although troop alert level have not been raised.

“This is a serious threat to regional security,” Lopez said, adding that China was “militarizing the region.”

“We get actual footage from the area, like video, camera shots… to establish what is actually there,” he added.

Beijing has been militarizing the South China Sea even if there is a Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) between China and Southeast-Asian Nations.

China’s move was “a clear violation” of the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea.

The parties who signed the DOC had agreed to promote peace and harmony, had committed to freedom of navigation, and had agreed to exercise self-restraint and to veer away from the use of threat or force amid unresolved disputes in the waters.

Wescom is responsible for keeping an eye in the West Philippine Sea where the Philippines has territorial claims, it is based in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan.