The Philippine Coast Guard on Saturday said all 10 navigational buoys installed in the West Philippine Sea are accounted for, contrary to claims of a Chinese online news site that these have been removed.
“The PCG’s 10 buoys, which were dropped in the West Philippines Sea, remain in their designated locations,” PCG’s spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Jay Tarriela said in a text message to ABS-CBN.
A Chinese online news site earlier reported that the buoys were “fished out” by Chinese fishermen who were guarded by their Coast Guards.
The navigational buoys serve as the country’s sovereign markers in the West Philippine Sea.
As this developed, the PCG, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), the US Coast Guard (USCG) agreed to “conduct periodical exercises to ensure the stability and security of the Indo-Pacific region.”
The statement was issued ahead of the trilateral maritime exercises from June 5 to 7.