Manila, Philippines — Two groups of Chinese tourists were caught taking photos inside a naval facility at Parola in Palawan last week, according to a report. According to a report from Palawan News in Puerto Princesa, the Chinese nationals were seen roaming and taking photos inside the Philippine Navy’s Tide Pole naval facility in Parola on July 23.
A new naval ship was berthed at the facility where the Chinese nationals were seen roaming, the report said. Naval officers reportedly confronted the Chinese nationals caught in the military facility. Due to this incident, the Naval Forces West had asked the tourism department of Puerto Princesa City to ensure that tourists will not go inside military premises as they are not tourist spots.
City tourism officer Aileen Cynthia Amurao told Palawan News an intelligence officer of the navy went to her office to make the request prohiting tourists from visiting the naval facility in Parola. Amurao added that the Parola area is not part of any tour package in the city as it is a military installation and it was not clear if the Chinese nationals went there by boat or by land transportation.
The Parola naval facility is under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Command, which is in charge of the islands of Palawan, including the Spratly Islands. The Philippine military maintains presence on Pag-asa or Thitu Island in the West Philippine Sea, which is under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Kalayaan.
The government is currently repairing a dilapidated runway on Pag-asa Island, one of the largest features in the Spratly group. China responded to the Philippines’ rehabilitation efforts on Pag-asa Island by deploying vessels, believed to be part of its maritime militia, in the vicinity of the island. The military earlier confirmed that Beijing might be monitoring repairs on the island by sending naval, coast guard and fishing vessels in the area.