AFP, Coast Guard to increase patrols after Chinese vessels swarm West Philippine Sea

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
AFP, Coast Guard to increase patrols after Chinese vessels swarm West Philippine Sea
More than 50 Chinese vessels swarm the vicinity of Iroquois Reef and Sabina Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, July 7.
AFP Wescom

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard will ramp up maritime patrols in the Iroquois Reef following the latest swarming of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea, an official said Sunday. 

The Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines reported last week that 48 boats believed to be part of the Chinese maritime militia were found around Iroquois Reef, also known as Del Pilar Reef, on June 30. 

Iroquois Reef is located south of oil- and gas-rich Recto Bank and within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. 

“Currently, based on our last monitoring report, the Chinese maritime militias stay in that area. The PCG and the AFP for this coming week will be intensifying our patrol to make sure that they will leave Iroquois Reef,” Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for WPS matters, said in an interview with Super Radyo dzBB. 

Tarriela said that part of Chinese maritime militia’s strategies is swarming a maritime feature “for a very long period of time.” 

“If you don’t notice them, they will increase their number eventually,” he said. 

The Coast Guard official added that PCG may deploy two of its vessels to drive the Chinese boats away from Iroquois Reef. 

The AFP also detected five Chinese Coast Guard and People’s Liberation Army Navy vessels near Sabina (Escoda) Shoal.

The Philippine military said the increased presence of Chinese Coast Guard and fishing vessels signals “alarming concern about China’s intentions and actions within these disputed waters.”

Last week, the PCG also reported that Chinese vessels shadowed and obstructed its patrol boats in a support mission in the WPS. 

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with