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Philippines starts repairs on BRP Sierra Madre

The Philippines has started “superficial repairs” to the rundown BRP Sierra Madre grounded in Ayungin Shoal.

According to Chino Gaston and Marisol Abdurahman's report on “24 Oras,”  the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said materials for the repairs were being delivered to the dilapidated naval ship.

“It was sad to see the state of the living conditions. We're trying to improve that by making sure they have at least decent sleeping facilities, decent dining facilities, internet,” AFP chief of staff General Romeo Brawner said.

“We can just do superficial repairs on it,” he added.

China has taken exception to the Philippine resupply mission held earlier this month, saying the Filipino ships illegally entered the area without their permission and illegally delivered construction materials.

However, the AFP slammed Beijing’s remarks and said what the Philippines did to BRP Sierra Madre was “none of their business”.

The BRP Sierra Madre has been aground at the Ayungin Shoal since 1999.

A dozen marines and sailors are aboard the ship, which has become a symbol of Philippine sovereignty in the offshore territory. —Sundy Locus/NB, GMA Intergrated News