Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Wednesday refuted Chinese claims that the Philippines is setting up new structures off Ayungin Shoal which lies 105 nautical miles away from Rizal, Palawan and well within the country's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.
He said that this was the guise of his short informal conversation with Chinese Ambassador to the
The activity was held at the Armed Forces of the
"They (Chinese) were concerned that the
A Marine contingent is stationed near Ayungin Shoal. These troopers are aboard the BRP Sierra Madre (LST-57), landing ship tank, which ran aground off the area sometimes in 1999.
Gazmin also said that the Chinese Ambassador also urged the
"(We) told her that we are not setting up any new structure but that we are merely resupplying provisions to our people there and (if possible) rotate the soldiers standing guard there as those people can't stay there indefinitely as they could go crazy," the DND chief narrated.
And when asked whether
To avoid possible maritime incidents, the DND chief also said that naval units doing resupply missions are always instructed to follow protocols.
"It's always there but we do follow some protocols like avoidance of dangerous maneuvers, avoidance of confrontational moves, so right now its holding, and we make sure that when go there also we have been doing regularly and routinely is the movement of logistics which are unarmed," Gazmin stressed.