Only 28 Chinese vessels left in West Philippine Sea reef – AFP chief
MANILA, Philippines — Only 28 Chinese vessels remain stationed around Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said.
AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said in an interview with DZBB that as of 8p.m. Saturday, AFP Western Command reported that only 28 Chinese vessels are left in the reef — two of which are Chinese Maritime Militia Vessels, six are Chinese coast guards, and 20 are fishing boats.
Sobejana told reporters that the six Chinese coast guards are distributed in Pagasa Island, Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Reef), and Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal).
The fishing boats are also distributed in the same locations — two in Pagasa, ten in Ayungin Shoal, and eight in Bajo de Masinloc.
Sobejana then said that the AFP will meet with the Joint US Military Assistance Group on Monday.
“Isa sa mga paguusapan natin yung ating mutual defense treaty kung san nagtutulungan ang dalawang bansa on matters pertaining to security,” said Sobejana.
(One of the things that we will talk about is our mutual defense treaty where the two countries are working together on matters pertaining to security.)
“At may mga bagay-bagay ayon sa suggestion na rin ni Sec. of Foreign Affairs na even yung harassment against Filipino civilian ships or boats ay dapat mapaloob dun sa mutual defense treaty,” he added.
(And the suggestion of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs that even harassment against Filipino civilian ships or boats should be included in the mutual defense treaty.)
The Philippines first filed a diplomatic protest on March 21 over the presence of over 200 Chinese vessels in the WPS reef.
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