Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista on Wednesday said that Chinese ships are still being detected near Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Reef).
The latter is located 120 nautical miles from Rizal,
“We continue to maintain a detachment at the Ayungin Shoal, and we also observed continuous presence of the Chinese Maritime Surveillance ships in the vicinity of the shoal, ranging from two to five miles away," the AFP chief said.
The Philippine presence there is maintained by a Marine force based at the grounded transport, the BRP Sierra Madre.
Aside from Chinese Maritime Surveillance ships, Bautista said People’s Liberation Army Navy vessels are also seen in the area, along with Chinese fishing boats that have been seen fishing near shoal.
“There was an instance when Chinese fishing boats were also seen there as you mentioned, harvesting clams, our giant clams, inside the shoal,” he stated.
“Filipino fishing vessels also once in a while, visit the shoal.”
The AFP admitted that
In Mischief Reef,
Bautista said that the
Aside from the three reefs,
These are Kenon Reef, Quarteron Reef, Fairy Cross Reef, Gaven Reef, Johnson Reef and Subi or Zamora Reef.