Photo courtesy of Kalayaan Municipal Information Office (MIO) || FFile photo

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is augmenting its presence in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) with the help of other government agencies capable of doing maritime patrols, its chief said on Thursday.

“We are currently augmenting in as far as our operations in the West Philippine Sea (NTF WPS) is concerned, our air and naval assets in support to the National Task Force (for) the West Philippine Sea, and (we are) working alongside with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources,” Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said in a virtual press conference.

Sobejana said that the AFP currently has 10 naval assets doing sovereignty patrols.

He added that the military is documenting every violation China is committing against the country’s exclusive economic zone and forwarding it to the Department of Foreign Affairs in support of their diplomatic protests.

The NTF WPS earlier expressed concern over a Coast Guard report about 200 Chinese fishing vessels, believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel, sighted in line formation at the Julian Felipe Reef on March 7.

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The reef is located approximately 175 nautical miles west of Bataraza, Palawan. (PNA)

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