Days after 42 Chinese Maritime Militia were spotted surrounding Pag-asa Island, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Palawan District Commander CG CAPT Dennis Rem Labay called for a press conference to be held 4PM Monday, March 6, at their Palawan Headquarters.
The press conference will also discuss the PCG’s efforts in aiding the on-going search and rescue (SAR) operation on the missing Alouette II helicopter that went missing on March 1.
Two days ago, PCG released a statement confirming the presence of a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA) Navy Vessel, Chinese Coast Guard and forty-two (42) suspected Chinese Maritime Militia vessels anchored in the vicinity of Pag-asa Island, PCG claimed that the Chinese vessels are inside the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippine sea.
These Chinese vessels are estimated to have a distance of approximately 4.5 to 8 nautical miles from Pag-asa Island, clearly inside the land feature’s 12 nautical mile territorial sea.
“The PLA Navy vessel and CCG 5203 have been observed to be slowly loitering within the surrounding waters of Pag-asa Island with a distance of 8 NM and 4 NM, respectively. Fourteen (14) suspected CMM vessels are anchored within the vicinity of Pag-asa Cay 3 with an estimated distance of 4 NM West of Pag-asa Island, while the other twenty-eight (28) suspected CMM Vessels are monitored to be within the area of Pag-asa Cay 4,” PCG said.
Meanwhile, PCG has maintained its effort in joining the the different rescue teams searching for the missing medevac helicopter called “Yellow Bee” along with its five passengers, namely; Captain Daniel Lui, American nurse Janelle Alder, patient Kayrun Sahibad Alpha, her husband Nastru Sahibad Alpha and relative Sum Hamja.
Five days ago, since the helicopter was declared missing, PCG initially deployed one of their ships to search for the area where Lui’s GPS signal was detected.
So far, only one R404 gas tank, a worn-out pillow, confirmed belonging to the patients and Alder’s sneakers were recovered.
As of press time, despite efforts, there were no additional wreckage retrieved nor any signs of life from the missing passengers.
The SAR operation continues on its sixth day today, March 6.