A Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) patrol ship blocked three civilian Philippine vessels en route to BRP Sierra Madre in May this year.
This was revealed by the Department of Nation Defense (DND) in a report prepared by Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna for the House of Representatives as requested by Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate.
Zarate requested a report on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s plan on modernization and West Philippine Sea update from the DND during its budget hearing in August.
The said vessels were en route to BRP Sierra Madre, grounded in Ayungin Shoal, for replenishment.
The DND noted that China maintains at least one coast guard ship in vicinity of Ayungin Shoal.
“Notably, China regularly deploys at least one CCG vessel perceived to be monitoring the activities there at, including the arrival of Filipino fishing boats as well as the Rotation and Reprovision mission,” DND said.