Philippines pulls out ships from disputed shoal

AP News
Posted: Jun 16, 2012 2:36 AM

The Philippines' president has ordered government ships to leave a South China Sea shoal claimed by the Philippines and China because of bad weather.

Naval ships from both countries have stood off in the Scarborough Shoal for the past two months.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Saturday that President Benigno Aquino III has ordered their two coast guard ships back to port because of a passing typhoon.

He says they have not decided whether to send the ships back to the area after the weather clears.

Del Rosario said Friday that Manila is waiting for Beijing to meet its commitment to remove about 20 vessels that are within the shoal's lagoon after the only Philippine ship there left this week.