Philippine Navy personnel aboard rubber boats successfully deterred dozens of Chinese boats attempting to approach the BRP Sierra Madre within the Ayungin Shoal.
Western Command Chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos reported that traditional wooden Chinese sampans were maneuvering to get close to the grounded Philippine Navy ship. Navy personnel actively monitored the movements of these Chinese boats in the shoal’s shallow waters.
The Philippine Navy deployed countermeasures, including rubber boats, to intercept the approaching Chinese vessels. Vice Admiral Carlos emphasized that the approach was non-confrontational, with Navy personnel using hand gestures and radio messages to challenge and dissuade the Chinese militia vessels from advancing closer to Ayungin Shoal.
“As we speak, our troops are being deployed repeatedly to ask the Chinese militia vessels to leave the shoal,” Vice Admiral Carlos stated.
Following a resupply mission last Sunday, the number of Chinese vessels in the vicinity decreased significantly from 40 to nine. However, five Chinese militia ships still lingered around the shoal.
Vice Admiral Carlos emphasized that contingency measures, addressing potential worst-case scenarios and course of action against potential threats, are meticulously planned by the armed forces.