By Priam Nepomuceno

Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson for the WPS, Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad (PNA file photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – A total of 104 assorted Chinese vessels have been monitored in Philippine-held features in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) from April 30 to May 6.

Based on data provided by Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson for the WPS, Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, on Tuesday, these vessels were spotted in seven features in the WPS.

Spotted in Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) during the period were three China Coast Guard vessels (CCGVs), two People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ships, 16 Chinese maritime militia vessels, and two rigid-hulled inflatable floats.

Also monitored in Ayungin Shoal were three CCGVs and 30 CMMVs; Pagasa Island, one CCGV, two PLAN ships, and 35 CMMVs; Kota Island, one CCGV and one CMMV; Lawak, one CCGV; Panata Island, six CCMVs; and Patag Island, one CCGV.

Trinidad, meanwhile, noted that there were no sightings of Chinese ships in Parola and Likas Islands.

These figures are lower than the 129 vessels recorded in the same features from April 23 to 29, he added.

Sought for a comment on the decrease in the number of spotted Chinese ships, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla said there could be a lot of reasons for this development.

“We cannot speculate on their activity thus, we cannot pinpoint the exact cause,” she added. (PNA)