Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command (WESCOM) has reported that a Chinese Coast Guard ship has been monitored since August 1 near Ayungin Shoal where Philippine Navy ship BRP Sierra Madre is grounded.
“Palipat-lipat lang po ito ng area diyan sa KIG (Kalayaan Island Group). Of course, tayo po naman is always vigilant at minomonitor din po natin ito, tinitingnan natin kung ano ginagawa nila. ‘Andiyan lang naman po sila palipat-lipat, tumitigil, mamaya nagrerefurbish ‘yun,” WESCOM spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Penetrante said as quoted by Rappler.
Moreover, Lieutenant Colonel Penetrante said that Chinese fishing vessels were also spotted. Vietnamese fishing vessels were also recently spotted in KIG.
The Philippine Navy is regularly rotating troops to Philippine-controlled islands in KIG including BRP Sierra Madre.