The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The Armed Forces Western Command Monday said Chinese fleet and their escorts, earlier detected just five nautical miles away from Pagasa Island, had left the vicinity.
Lt. Col. Neil Estrella, Western Command spokesperson, said air patrols no longer detect the presence of the Chinese ships.
"We no longer have visual sighting on them (at the vicinity of Pagasa, the largest geographical fixture claimed by the Philippines in the Spratlys Island Group)," he added.
Estrella also clarified the Chinese ships voluntarily left the area.
"They were just passing through, in fact they were only on transit," he added.
Estrella also stressed that waters in the above-mentioned vicinity are very rough.
Pagasa is only 240 nautical miles away from Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
However, the Western Command spokesperson refused to comment on whether the ships actually fished near the territorial waters of Pagasa, adding they are still trying to confirm that.
The Chinese fishing fleet and their escorts left Hainan two weeks ag