MANILA - The military said it spotted 42 Chinese and Vietnamese fishing vessels in several areas in the West Philippine Sea on Monday.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines' Western Command (Wescom) said a Chinese Coast Guard vessel was also spotted at Ayungin Shoal.
Wescom Spokesperson Lt. Col. Stephen Penetrante said Chinese Coast Guard vessels are frequently spotted in the area.
"But what are their intentions? We don't know," Penetrante said.
Ayungin Shoal is a small group of islets and reefs about 200 kilometers northwest of Palawan, which is the nearest major landmass to the area.
This is where a handful of Marines stand guard on a grounded World War II-era ship, the BRP Sierra Madre.