Philippines sends fresh troops to disputed shoal
MANILA, Philippines— Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Manila sent fresh troops and supplies to a Philippine-occupied shoal in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) where Chinese ships recently established a presence.
Gazmin said Wednesday that a small contingent of Philippine Marines was sent to replace troops at the Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal early this week.
The Filipino troops are stationed in a rusty Philippine hospital ship that ran aground in 1999 on the shallow coral outcrop and has since become an awkward symbol of Philippine sovereignty.
The Philippines protested last month the entry of a Chinese warship and maritime surveillance vessels to the area in a new territorial standoff between the Asian nations.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.