MANILA, Philippines – A recent surveillance flight conducted at the Scarborough Shoal showed that 3 Chinese ships have remained in the area, a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) official said on Tuesday.
The official, who requested to remain anonymous, said the ships are Chinese Maritime surveillance ships and a Fisheries Law Enforcement Control vessel.
The official also noted that no fishing vessels from China were monitored because it is no longer fishing season.
“Their fishing boats may have transferred to other areas,” the official said.
The official added that the Coast Guard received reports that Filipino fihing vessels “are being driven away” by the Chinese.
“Ever since, they (Chinese ships) have been doing that,” said the official.
President Aquino ordered the withdrawal of two government ships from the shoal near Zambales last June due to bad weather.
The Palace earlier said they are considering sending back the ships but there is no final decision on the matter.
The President has also signed Administrative Order (AO) No. 29 "naming the West Philippine Sea of the Republic of the Philippines."
The AO justifies ownership over “maritime areas on the western side of the Philippine archipelago...These areas include the Luzon Sea as well as the waters around, within and adjacent to the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo De Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal.”