(Photo courtesy of the Naval Forces West) FILE PHOTO

Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) has reported a recent incident in the West Philippine Sea where a patrol ship of the China Coast Guard (CCG) blocked a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) ship going to Ayungin Shoal.

Based on the report, as the BFAR vessel approached 12 nautical miles southeast of the shoal in the morning of June 27, the CCG 5304 approached the Phillipine vessel south from the northern edge of the shoal.

The report stated that the CCG shadowed the BFAR ship at a close range of 500 meters for almost an hour.

Ayungin Shoal is part of the Municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan among nine islands occupied by the Philippines in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

BRP Sierra Madre is a World War II era now decrepit naval boat intentionally ran aground the Ayungin Shoal in the early 1990s to serve as the Philippines stronghold in the disputed islands.

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