Photo from Western Command Armed Forces of the Philippines facebook page

The AFP Western Command announced on Tuesday it had successfully conducted a reprovisioning mission to the BRP Sierra Madre marooned at the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, the military command in Palawan said a civilian boat, MV Unaiza May, was able to complete its reprovisioning mission without any incident or harassment from Chinese Coast Guard ships.

“I am very pleased with the smooth conduct of our re-supply run to Ayungin Shoal. We hope that we can sustain this effort aimed at promoting harmonious relations in the West Philippine Sea among claimant countries.” said Wescom chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos.

Last month, Washington-based think-tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) reported an incident of a China Coast Guard (CCG) patrol ship that tailed and blocked a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) ship going to Ayungin Shoal.

The mission was able to deliver food and clothing, as well as maintenance and repair equipment necessary to maintain the safety of the decrepit World War II era naval ship BRP Sierra Madre, which serves as the Philippine outpost in the disputed islands.

“These logistic runs cannot stop. We must ensure our continuing support to the morale and welfare of our troops. Standing watch on distant and isolated islands is one of the most difficult duties a soldier can endure. The least we can do is to ensure sustained support to their requirements,” Carlos added.

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