MANILA, May 9 (Mabuhay) — Despite its current lack of capabilities, the Philippine Navy (PN) announced that it is more than prepared to carry out its mandate in asserting the country’s sovereignty in its claimed portions of the Spratlys Island chain.
It made this statement as reports of 30 Chinese fishing vessels is expected to arrive off the disputed territory to conduct a 40-day fishing trip.
This is despite certain limitations and challenges in the PN’s capabilities.
“The present administration is cognizant of these facts. Nonetheless, your sailors and Marines manning their posts are, and will remain, steadfast in performing their mandate to secure our maritime and territorial domains,” PN West Philippine Sea issues spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
“The PN is closely monitoring the developments in reported setting of sails of said Chinese fishing boats. We have our own Navy ships patrolling the area; we have sailors and Marines stationed in or near the area that shall serve as our eyes and ears,” Arevalo said.
But he added that it is too early yet to comment on what the PN should these ships enter Philippine territory.
“That remains to be a contingency as of the moment,” Arevalo pointed out.
“The guidance from higher headquarters is clear: to continue to be vigilant; monitor and report any unusual incidents obtaining in the area. These includes intrusions and other illegal activities like fishing in our maritime domain. The PN, being a force provider, will act as directed by higher headquarters,” he added.(MNS)