Two Chinese warships were spotted sailing near Barangay Bancalaan in the town of Balabac yesterday, June 19, according to Roy Reyes, former captain of the area.

Reyes captured the sighting while the ships were navigating the waters from Mangsee Island, also close to Onok Island and Camiaran.

He said one of the warships bore the marking #105 and was only 100 meters away from their boat as they headed towards the Melville area.

“Chinese flag ang nakita namin. Usually, daanan ng mga international cargo ships yan papunta ng Kudat, Malaysia. Sa harap lang ng Melville yan. First time namin makakita,” Reyes stated.

A reliable source of Palawan News said that if one of the sighted ships is the same as described, it might be the Chinese Dalian guided-missile destroyer, often at the forefront of their drills due to rising tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

There has been a proposed sealane through the Balabac Strait for international passage, but it hasn’t been approved yet.

Reyes said they know this route has long been used by international ships bringing cargoes to Kudat, Malaysia.