“They are, from our findings... very, very old concrete blocks. Some of them have barnacles attached to them. They are not a new phenomenon. So they don’t seem to give us any reason to have an increase in anxiety.”

Speaking at the annual presidential forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, Aquino said the concrete blocks would not seem to impede safe navigation.

“So they don’t present an immediate danger to any of our vessels or even those that would transit in the area around the Scarborough Shoal. The concrete blocks, I understand, they are within the shoal or the lagoon within the shoal.

“(The blocks) are in the portion that is shallow, (and) probably would not have vessels transiting them. If they do not present a danger to shipping or to any ships transiting the area, then there might not be a need to remove these concrete blocks at this time.”

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