‘They’re lying,’ ships still there
In Camp Aquino in Tarlac City, the head of the military’s Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) accused China of lying when it claimed it had withdrawn most of its vessels at Panatag Shoal.
“We are telling them they’re not telling the truth,” Nolcom commander Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara told visiting defense reporters.
In a press briefing, Alcantara said at least seven Chinese vessels remained in the vicinity of Panatag, including two small fishing boats anchored on the lagoon and three other fishing vessels off a sandbar.
Alcantara said two Chinese maritime ships—the gunboat FLEC 310 and the surveillance ship CMS 71—had been sighted in the Panatag waters as of 8 p.m. Monday.
Two more surveillance ships, the CMS 84 and 75, are believed to be replenishing provisions and refueling somewhere in the Chinese mainland, he added.