The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) recently placed five buoys to mark Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), according to Ian Cruz’s “24 Oras Weekend” report on Saturday.
“Hindi lang it would serve as navigational safety for both ships but it serves also as a sovereign markers. Kung makikita natin meron tayong Philippine flag na nakalagay dyan at pinapalakas natin ang ating presensya,” PCG Vice Admiral Joseph Coyme said.
(They are not only there for navigational safety for ships, but they also serve as a sovereign marker. As you can see, we have the Philippine flag placed there and we are strengthening our presence.)
One of the areas marked with buoys is the Julian Felipe Reef, which is a territory claimed by the Philippines.
However, several alleged Chinese militia vessels were spotted near the reef.
Authorities said that so far, no buoys had been removed.
However, if this does happen, the Philippines was prepared to file a protest.
“Definitely, sure na tayo dyan because the buoy that we have laid down bears the flag of the Philippines,” Coyme said.
The PCG had already placed at least 10 buoys in different locations in the West Philippine Sea to mark the country’s maritime waters.
The Coast Guard said it would place six more buoys this year.
Meanwhile, China continued to act aggressively in the South China Sea, recently issuing a radio challenge against a United States aircraft.
China also challenged a Coast Guard aircraft that was on its way to Pagasa Island near Subi Reef, which China occupies.
Apart from placing buoys in the WPS, the PCG also delivered donated books, food, and supplies to the children of Pagasa Island. — Richa Noriega/DVM, GMA Integrated News