MANILA – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said the Chinese navy’s presence in the South China Sea is “worrisome” but will not deter his country from defending its maritime territory and protecting its fishermen.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spotted the presence of Chinese navy vessels during a patrol mission by a vessel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) at the hotly contested Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea last week.

The BFAR vessel, which the PCG said was shadowed and blocked by Chinese coast guard ships, also distributed fuel to Filipino fishermen in the area.

“We continue to support all our fishermen, our fisherfolk who make a living from these fishing grounds and we will continue to help them despite…blocking attempts, shadowing,” Marcos told reporters before leaving for a state visit to Australia. — Reuters