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The presence of Chinese vessels has increased again in the vicinity of Pag-asa Island, West Philippine Sea, an official of the Naval Forces West (NFW) said Monday.

Lt.Ronnie Riel Grimpola, NFW spokesperson, said that based on their monitoring, more than 50 Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island in Kalayaan town have been sighted since Sunday from what was previously 28.

“Sa monitoring namin ay tumaas [ang bilang nila] kumpara sa mga nakaraan. Dati kasi nasa 23 to 28 pero ngayon umabot ng more than 50,” he said.

Grimpola said they cannot say if the increase was because of the recent incident involving 22 Filipino fishermen whose fishing boat was sunk by a Chinese vessel on the midnight of June 9 in Recto Bank.

“As of yesterday ‘yan na-monitor natin pero mahirap mag-speculate kung tumaas ang bilang nila dahil sa insidente noong nakaraan. Ngayon tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang patrol natin sa mga area doon,” he said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.