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AFP: 9 Chinese ships spotted around Ayungin Shoal




MANILA, December 15 ------ The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed the presence of Chinese ships on Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. Five Chinese maritime militia vessels (CMMV) were inside Ayungin, while four others were outside the shoal, according to AFP Western Command commander Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos.

 

Carlos said CMMVs started entering the shoal—where the BRP Sierra Madre is grounded—this year. “Every time makita namin sila sa loob ng shoal, we deploy our rubber boats to non-confrontationally drive them away. Pinapaalis namin,” Carlos told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview. “The term always is non-confrontationally driving them away because it’s a calibrated response and we do not want to escalate the situation there anymore,” he added.

 

Carlos and AFP chief General Romeo Brawner, Jr. personally joined Sunday’s mission to Ayungin Shoal. They were on board the supply boat Unaizah Mae 1. The officials witnessed how Chinese coast guard and maritime militia vessels shadowed, blocked with water cannons and conducted dangerous maneuvers against the Philippine resupply team.

 

According to Carlos, they monitored some 40 Chinese vessels in the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal during the mission.

 

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