Ships sighted off PH-occupied shoal are Chinese spy vessels — sourcesBy Redempto D. Anda
Inquirer Southern Luzon Bureau
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – The Western Command is monitoring the presence of two Chinese military surveillance vessels that were reported to be on a stationary position since Tuesday afternoon near the Philippine-occupied Ayungin Shoal in the disputed Spratly’s region.
The two Chinese vessels were identified by other defense sources who asked not to be identified as “maritime surveillance vessels”. They
were reported to be in stationary position some six nautical miles west of Ayungin Shoal since Tuesday afternoon.
The source added that the information about the Chinese presence “has been relayed to proper authorities”, including Malacañang and the
Department of Foreign Affairs.
Lieutenant Cherry Tindog, Wescom spokesperson, confirmed that the regional military command has received reports about the Chinese vessels but declined to issue additional information concerning the reported intrusion.
Ayungin Shoal, also known internationally as Second Thomas Reef, is one of the reef formations within the six islands with Philippine troops presence and is considered by the country as part of the municipality of Kalayaan.
It is closest to Mischief Reef, which until 1995 was occupied by the Philippines until the Chinese built a fortification in it.