MANILA, Philippines – If Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had his way, the country’s newly-acquired vessel BRP Conrado Yap will be deployed to Palawan and Sulu seas.
Lorenzana said this on Tuesday on the sidelines of the welcome ceremony for the BRP Conrado Yap, a Pohang-class corvette donated by South Korea, at the Manila South Harbor.
“Kung ako, baka siguro sa Palawan and the Sulu seas,” he said. “It depends on the Navy how soon they can bring that to the south,” he added.
The BRP Conrado Yap arrived in the Philippines several weeks after it was handed over by South Korea during a ceremony at Jinhae Naval Base on August 5. The corvette was used by South Korea from 1987 to 2016 as Republic of Korea Navy ship Chungju (PCC-762).
The 32-year old warship is regarded as the Philippine Navy’s “most powerful ship” to date because of its torpedo launchers and sonars that are capable of detecting submarine and other potential underwater threats.
The Philippine Navy believes the addition of the heavily armed vessel will provide significant boost to its capability in patrolling and safeguarding the country’s territorial limits.
It will also serve as transition platform in empowering and upgrading Filipino sailors’ knowledge and skills in handling such high-level and advanced equipment/vessel especially with the impending delivery of modern frigates in the next two years, the Philippine Navy added.
MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to require foreign vessels to first secure a clearance from the government before entering the Philippine waters.
“That is a very good development. At least now we have some authority to enforce our laws within our territorial waters,” Lorenzana said Tuesday.
Earlier, Duterte, through spokesman Salvador Panelo, issued a directive for all foreign vessels to provide notification and get clearance from proper government authority in advance of the actual passage. He also warned foreign vessels that Manila will either get compliance in a friendly manner or enforce it in an unfriendly manner.
When asked to elaborate, Panelo explained that by saying ‘unfriendly,’ it means blocking entry to any foreign vessels intruding in the Philippine territory.
He, however, clarified that the President’s order didn’t mean an automatic use of force against intruders.
“By that it means that we will ask them to move out of the place, that’s unfriendly, because before we never said anything, we just allow them, we just make protest, but this time, we will tell them, please get out of our territorial waters,” Panelo said.
Lorenzana, for his part, could not say yet the “unfriendly option” the Philippine Military could use to ward of intruders into the country’s waters. The Defense chief said he will defer the matter to the Philippine Navy. (RRD with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday honored the sacrifices of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, and all Filipinos like him who fought against dictatorship and for the restoration of freedom in the country.
In a message to mark Ninoy’s 36th death anniversary, Robredo recalled how Ninoy’s death had inspired a movement that brought down the “rapacious” regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos.
“Every Filipino alive at that time remembers where they were when Ninoy fell. It was the defining moment for an entire generation: a moment that would inspire a movement that would ultimately bring down the dictator three years later, and bring about a restoration of the freedom Ninoy had given up his life and liberty fighting for,” Robredo said.
The vice president also pointed out that Ninoy was not the only one who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country’s freedom.
“Thousands of Filipinos fell during the dark years of dictatorship, resisting till their last breath the cruelty and corruption it brought. Thousands more were estranged from their families, were thrown into prison, were subjected to brutality and humiliation. Many of them remain nameless and unheralded in our memorials and history books,” she said.
“So, when we celebrate the 21st of August, it is not just Ninoy Aquino we remember, but all those like him, both the nameless and the heralded, who gave of themselves so that we could be free,” she added.
“In this remembrance, we express both our deepest gratitude for the sacrifices made on our behalf, and, perhaps more significantly, our persistent commitment to defend the freedom they won back for us.”
Robredo also lambasted those who “dismiss the significance of Ninoy’s sacrifice,” or “question the validity of the movement it inspired,” and those who are pushing a revised version of history, claiming that the Marcos regime “was not so bad after all.”
“The simple truth is, Ninoy Aquino was a Filipino who gave his life for his country. His love for his homeland was seen not in easy talk or slick PR stunts, but instead blazed brightly through long years of imprisonment, of exile, and in the end, of martyrdom,” she said.
“Many talk about being willing to die for our country. Ninoy was one of the courageous few who actually did,” she added.
Ninoy, a staunch critic of the Marcos government, was assassinated upon his return from a three-year exile in the United States on August 21, 1983. He was shot and killed at he was shot and killed at the then Manila International Airport (now named after him) as he was escorted off the airplane.
Ninoy’s death led to protests that sparked snap presidential elections in 1986, which led to the 1986 EDSA Revolution that catapulted his wife, Cory Aquino to presidency.
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