Philippines preparing to join ASEAN-China maritime exercise
The Philippines will join the ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise 2018 (ACMEX 2018) scheduled this October.
Commander Jonathan Zata, Philippine Navy spokesman, said confirmed the joint drill will be hosted by China.
“It will be hosted in Zhanjiang, China from 22 to 28 October 2018,” Zata said in a text message to the Daily Manila Shimbun.
“Main activities are for at sea phase: search and rescue and the application of code of unplanned encounter at sea,” he added.
Arsenio Andolong, Department of National Defense (DND) spokesman, said in a separate phone interview with the Daily Manila Shimbun, the joint drill was agreed during the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Singapore last February.
“At first the ASEAN ministers had a meeting, and then China requested if they can join, so they agreed. Then after China joined, it was raised through the host, the chairman, Singapore the idea to hold ASEAN-China exercise,” he said.
“It was also agreed in that meeting that such exercise will not be held in any of the contested areas, but on the specifics I do not know,” he added.
Zata also confirmed that two Navy officers have arrived Aug. 3 after participating in the table top exercise in Singapore.
“We sent two naval officers to the table top exercise in Singapore, namely Capt. Hilario Cesista and Commander Remuel Jardinero,” he said.
“They went there last July 31, (2018) and arrived yesterday here in Manila,” he added.
Zata could not say how many Philippine Navy sailors and possible assets will be deployed to join the maritime exercise.
“We are still determining the appropriate participants in consideration with the current and emerging requirements,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS