AFP deliberating sending more assets to patrol southern Philippine waters
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are deliberating deploying additional assets to patrol southern Philippine waters following recorded incursions of Chinese warships in Sibutu Strait.
Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, said the military may study possible adjustments on its maritime domain patrol operations.
“Adjustments can be studied after this incident and as we speak deliberations were being conducted whether there is a need for us to particularly increase our maritime domain awareness patrols,” said Arevalo.
Arevalo said the military has sufficient capability to monitor possible incursions within Philippine waters but he did not give details.
“So far as I have said the current status of our monitoring and our patrols are sufficient as have been shown by the reports that we are able to obtain and write and present to our political leaders,” he said.
“We also have other augmentation aside from our maritime and aerial patrols but I’m not going to reveal what else we have apart from maritime domain awareness patrols aerial and water. We have other means of monitoring the development in our seas,” he added.
AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. also did not say how the military was able to monitor all incursion incidents.
“Actually we have efforts which I cannot disclose. I cannot disclose all of our steps but at the same time we of course strengthen our relations with our allies … to protect of course what we call freedom of navigation,” he said.
“On deployments, aside from our floating assets, we also have our Coast Watch system, our surveillance systems plus of course in coordination, as I’ve said... with the help of other intelligence as well as information gathering capabilities of our allies,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS