Lorenzana: No new reports yet of Chinese ships in Ayungin Shoal

Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2019 10:05 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he has not received any official report about the Chinese ships again preventing the resupply of Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal. Richard Madelo, Presidential Photo/file

MANILA - There are no reports yet on new sightings of Chinese ships in Ayungin Shoal.

Speaking at a forum organized by the Association for Philippine-China Understanding on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he has not received any official report about the Chinese ships again preventing the resupply of Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal.

Lorenzana said there was a chance that it was old information disclosed in Congress. 

As far as he knew, Lorenzana said, the sailors have been free to navigate in Ayungin.

But at a press conference, also on Tuesday, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the harassment report was recent, and that all these reports were prepared by the Armed Forces and submitted to higher-ups for proper action, such as diplomatic protests.

In 2014, a Philippine Navy vessel with journalists on board was also blocked by several shops of the Chinese Coast Guard, as it attempted to resupply the Philippine outpost of Ayungin Shoal, and extricate the troops that had been stranded there for 5 months also because of the Chinese blockade.