Philippine President Benigno Aquino told protesters to abort their plan to sail Friday to a disputed South China Sea shoal also claimed by China, the leader of the group said.Aquino's last-minute telephone call caused the protesters to call off their trip to Scarborough Shoal, protest leader Nicanor Faeldon told reporters after speaking to the president on his mobile phone.
"I received a call from the president requesting the postponement of this voyage.... I consulted the group and we agreed to concur with the wisdom of the government to postpone it," he added.
Meanwhile, student activists protest near the US embassy in Manila on May 17, 2012. A US navy attack submarine the USS North Carolina has docked in a Philippine port close to the disputed Scarborough shoal where Philippine and Chinese ships are locked in a standoff, a spokesman for Manila's navy said on May 15, 2012. The protesters are calling on the US to keep away from the disputed shoal and to stop meddling in Philippine affairs.