The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) conducted an aerial surveillance over the Bajo de Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea on October 6, noting an increase in the number of Filipino fishermen on fishing sojourns and spotting four China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels in the area.
In a statement Thursday, PCG commandant Adm. Artemio Abu said the overflight mission was conducted using a Cessna 208 Caravan over Bajo de Masinloc (BDM), also known as Scarborough Shoal.
“During the said overflight, the PCG monitored four China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels–two inside and two outside the BDM. Two Chinese militia vessels were also observed outside the said vicinity waters,” the statement from his office said.
“There was no challenge made between the PCG and the CCG during the aerial surveillance,” it added. Two Chinese militia boats were also spotted by the PCG Aviation Force.
To ensure the safety and security of Filipino fishermen and to support their fishing operations in the area, BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) and BRP Suluan (MRRV-4406) were sent to Bajo de Masinloc. They were monitored close to the mouth of the shoal.
Abu stated that the personnel on the capital ships provided the fishermen relief supplies which they may use while at sea.
He also reported that approximately 30 to 40 Filipino fishing boats were monitored during the PCG’s overflight, which was aimed at further increasing their number in the area to fish.