Number of ships at Ayungin not ordinary — Esperon

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THE National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea revealed that the number of Chinese ships in Ayungin Shoal was not ordinary.

National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon made the statement after three Chinese Coast Guard boats blocked and fired using water cannons two Philippine supply mission boats who were on their way to bring supplies to soldiers stationed at Ayungin Shoal.

Esperon said before, only two Chinese vessels are stationed at Ayungin Shoal but based on the report they received, up to 19 boats were seen in the area the past week

He added that China is becoming aggressive in deploying larger forces.

Aside from those at Ayungin, there are 45 other Chinese vessels are stationed at Pagasa Island.

Esperon adds the Philippines will continue to file diplomatic protests against China for its maneuverings in the area and will reiterate the arbitral ruling.

He expects that the Chinese boats will leave Ayungin after the Philippines files a formal protest.

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