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During the 42nd Naval Force West Anniversary with its Guest of Honor Flag Officer In-Command, Vice Admiral Robert A. Emperdrad AFP, shared that three of its new incoming ships will ensure better security around the territory including the West Philippine Sea.
“Itong tatlong barko will be deployed to secure our maritime waters whether it’s West Philippine Sea or Philippine Rise (formerly known as Benham Rise). Kahit saan mo siya ilagay… kayang kaya gawin ng barko na to,” Emperdrad says.
He added that with the presence of the ships will increase the country’s defense against illegal activities such as poaching, dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing and to protect our resources.
“Kung may warships na tayo kahit papano pagnakita nila ang barko natin dyan [WPS] hindi na sila gagawa ng illegal fishing and activities,” Emperdrad added.
He also shared that President Duterte prioritizes the Philippine Navy when it comes to modernization and there will be 25 – 30 ships and submarines that will be acquired by the Philippine Navy during his presidency.
“Alam naman ng ating mahal na Pangulo yung lawak ng dagat natin kaya nung siya ay bumisita sa Philippine Navy inassure niya ang priority niya sa modernization ay ang Philippine Navy, there will be new 25 to 30 ships that will be acquired, kelan lang inapprove ng ating Pangulo yung pag-acquire ng submarines,” Emerdrad Stated.
BRP [Barko ng Republika ng Pililinas] Conrado Yap is expected to arrive in Manila less than a week after it departed from Jinhae Naval Base in Changwon City, South Korea last August 12. It was donated by the Republic of Korea and is armed with two Oto Melara 76mm main guns, a 30mm automatic cannon, sensors, torpedoes, including sonars, and radars.
The new frigate BRP Jose Rizal is expected to be in commission into Philippine Navy on April 2020 and BRP Antonio Luna on September 2021.
The two ships are also armed with a variety of sensors and weapons capable of detecting and neutralizing surface, sub-surface and air threats.
The event also highlighted the Naval Force West accomplishment within the year. Selected officers, enlisted personnel and stakeholders were also commended.