Lorenzana says Chinese vessels ''watching'' construction project in Pag-asa Island
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Chinese vessels are monitoring the ongoing construction project in Pagasa Island.
"They have been watching us for a long time but our projects are proceeding and will continue until completed. They are not interfering," Lorenzana said in a message Thursday.
Last Monday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said there were more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels monitored within the vicinity of Pagasa Island this year.
Capt. Jason Ramon, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command, said a total of 275 Chinese fishing vessels were monitored at the vicinity of Pagasa Island since January to March.
Ramon said the military believe the Chinese vessels in the area were maritime militia.
“Even though these are fishing vessels monitored, still part of assessment of Wescom (is that) these are suspected maritime militia... They’re staying there sometime they do not conduct fishing activity,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS