Chinese ships remain at Scarborough

Posted at 07/07/2012 2:09 AM | Updated as of 07/07/2012 6:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Three Chinese government ships have remained at the disputed Scarborough or Panatag Shoal just off Zambales province, a military source said Friday.

The vessels -- 2 surveillance ships and a fisheries law enforcement command boat -- were seen just outside the shoal's lagoon, the security official said.

A Philippine Navy aircraft spotted the ships in a renaissance patrol mission Monday.

Six Chinese fishing vessels and 16 dinghies were also seen inside the shoal Monday, the source said.

It is not known if the ships have left for safer waters to avoid a low-pressure area that was heading for the shoal earlier this week.

President Benigno Aquino and his Cabinet members held a closed-door meeting Thursday to discuss the Philippines' ongoing territorial row with China.

The Palace has yet to announce the decision made by the President to address the issue.