DFA Secretary: Presence of ships alone doesn’t mean anything

UNTV News   •   August 17, 2017   •   4226

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_081617_DFA SEC CAYETANO

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday afternoon said there is no need for the Philippine government to be alarmed on the alleged presence of Chinese vessels near the Pag-asa Island.

Former marine officer now Magdalo Party List Representative Gary Alejano , said he received the information from his contacts in the military that the swarm is composed of two frigates, a coastguard vessel, two large fishing vessels, and numerous maritime militias.

The ships have been there since Saturday, August 12.

“Our BFAR ship was prevented by Chinese fishing vessels from going near our sand bars located generally west of Pag-asa Island around 2 to 7 nautical miles away,” said Alejano.

Cayetano, however, neither confirmed nor denied the claim of Alejano saying they are in constant communication with the Chinese counterpart.

He also assured that the situation in the area where the Chinese vessels had been deployed is stable.

“The presence of ships alone does not mean anything.  I mean, for example, let me ask Cong. Alejano why were we not concerned about the U.S. doing freedom of navigation?  Ang lalaki ng ships nila (Their ships were huge),” DFA Sec Alan Peter Cayetano said.

The Secretary assured that the government has not reneged on its mandate to defend the country.

“The situation in West Philippine Sea and South China Sea is very serious we will not give single inch, single square meter, single centimeter. But at the same time it should not define our whole relationship with our neighbor,” Sec. Cayetano added. – Grace Casin | UNTV News and Rescue

Red tide alert still up in parts of Visayas, Mindanao – BFAR

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Several coastal areas in the country remain positive for paralytic shellfish poison or toxic red tide that is beyond the regulatory limit, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said Friday.

In its latest bulletin, the BFAR said that all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the following coastal areas are not safe for human consumption based on the latest laboratory results:

• Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol
• Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur
• Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur
• Villareal, Cambatutay, and San Pedro Bay in Western Samar
• Carigara Bay and coastal waters of Leyte in Leyte
• Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar

The BFAR reminded the public that fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption, provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

AFP chief Sobejana visits Pag-asa Island

Robie de Guzman   •   June 9, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Cirilito Sobejana visited Pag-asa Island amid the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, the AFP said Sobejana visited the island on Monday along with key officers from the General Headquarters and the Western Command.

The visit was in connection to the conversion of the island into a logistics hub that seeks to sustain the Philippine government forces deployed in the area.

The trip also aims to uplift the morale and welfare of troops securing Pag-asa Island and other communities within the Kalayaan Island Group.

“The AFP will strike a balance between mission accomplishments and looking after the morale and welfare of our men and women,” Sobejana said, addressing the military force manning the Naval Station Emilio Liwanag on Pag-asa Island.

The AFP chief also stressed the importance of the troop’s role in protecting the citizens of Kalayaan Group of Islands and their livelihood as well as guarding the country’s territories in the West Philippine Sea.

The AFP said it recently deployed additional air and naval assets under the operational control of Western Command (WESCOM) in Palawan to support the National Task Force-WPS together with the Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in performing sovereignty patrols in the area.

Prior to visiting Pag-asa Island, the Chief of Staff met with the troops of the 3rd Marine Brigade to extend the AFP’s commendation for keeping the Province of Palawan peaceful, stable and progressive.

He also lauded the unit’s contributions in security operations, civil military operations, stakeholder’s engagement and on COVID-19 mitigation which are vital in the over-all mission accomplishment of WESCOM and the AFP as a whole.

The AFP Chief also visited BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS35), one of the many ships currently deployed at WESCOM while docked at Puerto Princesa City Pier, to commend the their efforts in protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country particularly in the West Philippine Sea.

He likewise lauded the officers and personnel for their role in the successful rescue of 31 fishermen of MB Pauline 2 at Nares Bank, WPS on May 24.

 

PNP to support PCG, BFAR patrols in West Philippine Sea — Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP-MG) has been tapped to assist the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in their ongoing maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea, police chief General Guillermo Eleazar said.

“The PNP, specifically the Maritime Group, is ready to provide assistance and augment personnel from the PCG and BFAR in enforcing maritime laws on the West Philippine Sea and our Exclusive Economic Zone,” Eleazar said in a statement on Thursday.

“Despite our limitations when it comes to resources, we will make sure that it will not discourage and prevent us from asserting and fighting for what is ours,” he added.

The National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday said the PNP-MG will deploy four high-speed tactical watercraft, three police gunboats, and police fast boats to patrol the municipal waters and portions of the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea.

The assets will be deployed to police maritime units mostly in Palawan province.

Personnel of the PNP-MG who will be posted at the Municipality of Kalayaan will depart on May 15.

Eleazar said the PNP continues to consult with the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea, the PCG, and BFAR to determine the PNP-MG’s specific role and participation in maritime patrols.

“Patuloy po ang koordinasyon natin sa mga ahensyang ito dahil sila ang mas nakakaalam ng sitwasyon sa West Philippine Sea,” he said.

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