28 Chinese boats still in Scarborough
MANILA, Philippines—Despite reports that Chinese fishing boats were already withdrawn in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, operational reports from the field said otherwise.
As of Monday afternoon, there were about 28 Chinese fishing and government vessels, 23 of which were inside the shoal, according to the aerial surveillance by an Islander of the Philippine Navy, Admiral Alexander Pama told reporters in a news conference Tuesday.
Pama said that China has maintained five government vessels, three Chinese Maritime Surveillance vessels and two Fisheries and Law Enforcement Command outside the shoal.
Meanwhile, 23 fishing vessels, 17 dinghies or small boats and six Chinese fishing boats remained inside the lagoon.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said despite the pullout of Philippine government vessels, they were still continuously monitoring the area.
“As soon as the weather clears, and there’s a clearance coming from the DOTC,” Gazmin said, when asked if Philippine ships will be sent back to Scarborough.
A fishing ban was still being implemented among Filipino fishermen until the weather improves, he added.
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