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5月8日のまにら新聞から

Leave of Wescom chief nothing to do with "new model" arrangement with China

[ 413 words|2024.5.8|英字 (English) ]

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Western Command (Wescom) Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos went on "personal leave" on Tuesday, but noted that it has nothing to do with China's "new model" arrangement to manage disputes at the Ayungin Shoal.

AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla said Naval Education, Training and Doctrine Command (NETDC), Commander Rear Admiral Alfonso Torres Jr. was designated to temporarily assume his position during his leave of absence.

Padilla explained that the designation of Torres is only effective "during the absence of the incumbent".

"Let's leave it at that he applied for personal reasons. Let's respect his decision to file for leave, it's an inherent right of every individual to go on leave, for whatever reasons," she said.

Padilla also noted that the leave of Carlos has "no connection to the new model" arrangement claimed by China.

"We cannot dictate an officer on when they would want to use their leave. As to the timing it could be coincidental, but it's the prerogative of an individual when he wants to file for a leave, we have leave balances that we consume so he availed of it," she said.

In a press conference on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian claimed that "early this year, the Chinese side and the Philippine side agreed on a “new model” for resupply missions concerning (Ayungin Shoal) Ren’ai Jiao after multiple rounds of discussions through the diplomatic channel and AFP Wescom."

He also noted that "the Philippine military has made repeated confirmation that the “new model” has been approved by all key officials in the Philippine chain of command, including the Secretary of National Defense and the National Security Advisor."

Jian said "on February 2, the Philippines carried out one resupply mission under this “new model” before abandoning it as well."

On the other hand, Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, Navy spokesman for the West Philippines Sea called China's "new model" arrangement as "zombie stories".

"I call them "zombie stories..." long dead but revived from the grave; best approach is to put these stories where they rightfully belong - in the grave, never to be heard again...," he said.

"These stories are all fabricated, products of the imagination of the Chinese Communist Party to divert attention from their violations of international law, to cause divisiveness among us Filipinos and to provide a smoke screen as they advance their agenda in the West Phil Sea and the entire South China Sea," he added. Robina Asido/DMS