MANILA, Philippines – Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista on Wednesday confirmed that the military has launched re-provisioning and troop rotation activities in the Ayungin Shoal.
“We have rotated the troops, periodically [we’re doing this], and we are resupplying them…,” he told reporters in an ambush interview at Camp Aguinaldo.
He said that the last crew rotation and re-supply operation was held only this month, adding that they do this on a regular basis, not only in Ayungin but also in other islands.
Bautista said they were not able to encounter any Chinese blockade during the re-supply.
The Philippines protested last month the intrusion of a Chinese warship and maritime surveillance vessels in Ayungin shoal, which is within the Philippine territory. The Chinese have continued their presence in the shoal, but the number of vessels varies, said Bautista.
The AFP Chief also emphasized that they will remain “non-confrontational” in dealing with China.
“We support the arbitration process [and] we will be non-confrontational. We do not want any conflict with any of our neighbors and we will continue to support the arbitration [efforts],” he told reporters.