ZAMBOANGA CITY — 278 cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) arrived in Zamboanga City on Thursday. They belong to the Mabalasik Class of 2019.
The cadets are visiting major areas in the Philippines to promote the PMA and urge others to join the academy.
“I’m inviting everyone lalo na youth of Zamboanga City na magtake kayo ng PMA exam. If I’m not mistaken this August we’ll be having PMA entrance examination,” said PMA Class 2017 president 2nd Class Francis Dimatira. (I’m inviting everyone especially the youth of Zamboanga City to take the PMA exam. If I’m not mistaken this August, we’ll be having the PMA entrance examination.)
The cadets and PMA staff members admit that they are encouraged by the care shown by President Rodrigo Duterte toward the soldiers.
“Siguro ito na yung hinihintay natin na parang game changer sa atin na may pagpapahalaga siya sa ating kasundaluhan, sa ating mga unipormadong hukbo,” said PMA spokesperson LtCol. Rey Balido. (Maybe he is the game changer we have all been waiting for. The one who values the armed forces, our uniformed troops.)
From Zamboanga City, the cadets will head to Davao City, Cebu City and then return to the academy. Interested individuals may visit PMA’s booths and the PMA’s website www.pma.ph if they are interested to apply. — UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported on August 20 sightings of Chinese Coast Guard in Ayungin Shoal within the Philippines exclusive economy zone (EEZ).
According to the military, the vessel remained in Ayungin Reef for almost three weeks.
The AFP Western Mindanao Command reported its first sighting of the Chinese vessel on August 1.
It leaves the area every time it runs out of supply.
“Nagmo-monitor lang sila ng mga galaw ng mga boat nila saka ‘yong sa atin din saka kung ano ‘yong nangyayari doon. They’re just there,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Penetrante, the AFP Wescom spokesman.
The official noted that the presence of the Chinese vessel does not interfere in their operations in the area where the BRP Sierra Madre is also docked to serve as a military outpost in the said waters.
“Wala namang conflict na gustong [gawin]. (They are not inviting conflict.) They are just there. Parang tolerating their presence,” Penetrante said.
As of this writing, China’s embassy in the Philippines has yet to respond on the matter. – MNP (with reports from April Cenedoza)
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., confirmed Thursday that the diplomatic protest against China on the illegal entry of its warships in Sibutu Strait has already been filed.
This, following his order to the DFA-Office of Asia and Pacific Affairs to file the protest against the Chinese warships that trespassed in the Philippine seas this month, and also last July, without coordinating with concerned authorities.
Based on the report of the Armed Forces of the Philippines – Western Mindanao Command (AFP-Wesmincom), two Chinese warships were sighted in July. Another three were also monitored passing in the Philippine waters this month.
Locsin said that such acts are clear cases of trespassing as they are not authorized to sail in the waters within the Philippine territory.
“I already described my foreign policy as the fist and iron glove of the Armed Forces. so we work hand in hand with the military,” Locsin added.
The DFA chief hopes that this issue will be tackled in President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China next week for the two countries to agree on the necessary steps to take on the matter.
Locsin said they are now in the drafting the agenda of the meeting between President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (with details from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is seeking to further strengthen its naval and aerial assets following the series of uncoordinated passages of Chinese warships in the country’s waters.
AFP Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas said they have already filed a proposal to intensify naval operations in their area after several Chinese ships were spotted passing through Philippine waters without notifying local authorities.
“Nagsubmit ng proposal na palakasin pa ang naval units dito sa area ng WESMINCOM upang sa ganun nga upang ma-address ang issues particularly dito sa maritime domain natin as far as security is concerned,” he said.
(A proposal has been submitted seeking to strengthen naval units in the WESMINCOM area in order to address the issues, particularly in our maritime domain as far as security is concerned.)
The AFP earlier reported that at least five Chinese naval ships sailed through Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi without prior coordination.
Based on their monitoring, five Chinese ships with bow numbers 998, 964, 195, 853 and 536 had been seen navigating the area between July and August.
The AFP said that aside from the said period, they have also spotted Chinese ships passing through the channel without permission since February.
The military said the vessels ignored radio communications from Philippine patrols.
The Sibutu Strait separates Sulu archipelago from Borneo.
Although considered an international sea lane where foreign vessels have the right of innocent passage, customary maritime law requires warships to coordinate with the coastal state beforehand.
The military said these ships could not claim innocent passage as they took a curved course and not a straight line.
“These previous months mayroon na tayong namomonitor na warships ng China kung kaya’t tuloy-tuloy po ang ginawang monitoring at patrolling ng ating Navy vessels at the same time, ‘yung ating Coast Guard diyan sa Sibutu Passage diyan natin nakikita lagi itong mga warship ng China,” Encinas said.
(These previous months, we have monitored Chinese warships in the area prompting continued monitoring and patrolling operations by our Navy vessels, at the same time, our Coast Guard in the Sibutu Passage where Chinese warships were spotted.)
Encinas added they have also informed the military national leaders on the monitored incursions to engage with their counterparts on the issue.
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