PH Navy determining source of comms interference in WPS

By Priam Nepomuceno

February 27, 2024, 4:28 pm

<p>PN spokesperson for the WPS Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad <em>(PNA photo by Priam Nepomuceno)</em></p>

PN spokesperson for the WPS Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad (PNA photo by Priam Nepomuceno)

MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) on Tuesday said it is determining the source of interference affecting electronics and communication equipment of Filipino ships in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), noting that there has been an increase in these incidents.

"I would need (the) appropriate Navy office to say specifically the source of this intervention or interference, " PN spokesperson for the WPS Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad said in a press briefing.

He made this comment when asked if PN ships experienced "jamming of tracking systems" like those reported by the Philippine Coast Guard.

Referring to the WPS, Trinidad said he refers to all areas in the WPS except Bajo de Masinloc.

Trinidad, however, said they are coordinating with the Naval Forces Northern Luzon regarding communications interference in the Bajo de Masinloc.

He also reiterated that "forensics" are needed to determine who is exactly behind these interference.

"It could come from anybody, again common sense will dictate but I would like to be backed up with (an) appropriate report," he noted.

Meanwhile, Trinidad said the number of Chinese ships in Philippine-occupied features in the WPS have been "fairly constant" as of Monday.

In Bajo De Masinloc, Trinidad said they have recorded the presence of four China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels and around 10 to 17 fishing vessels while another three CCG ships and four fishing boats were spotted in Ayungin Shoal.

In Pag-asa Island, he said one People's Liberation Army Navy vessel was detected along with one CCG ship and 16 Chinese fishing boats.

Trinidad said two fishing boats were located in Parola Island while another nine were detected in Panata Island.

He added that none were detected so far in Likas, Lawak, Rizal and Kota.

"These numbers when we compare these with the previous weeks, this (is) fairly constant. Those in WPS operate out of Mischief Reef (as this is) a safe harbor, they project those vessels to the other features in the WPS," he said. (PNA)