The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- The 30-vessel fishing fleet China has sent to the waters around the disputed Spratly Islands is still well outside Philippine territory, the military said Wednesday.
Lieutenant General Juancho Sabban, commander of the Armed Forces’ Western Command, said their monitoring placed the vessels in Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef, 100 miles southwest of Pag-asa Island or over 300 miles from Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
“Malayo pa ‘yun (It’s still too far),” Sabban said.
And Kagitingan, he said, has long been occupied by the Chinese.
Because of this, he said, there have been no efforts to protest the presence of the fishing fleet, which is escorted by a marine surveillance vessel.
"Hindi naman natin claimed ‘yun (Kagitingan Reef) e, sa kanila talaga. Ba’t natin sila paaalisin, sa kanila talaga ‘yun (We are not claiming it anyway, it’s really theirs. Why should we tell them to leave, it’s theirs)," he said.
However, he stressed that once the Chinese vessels enter Philippine territory, they will be accosted.