AFP assures preparedness for possible armed attack in West Philippine Sea
AFP assures preparedness for possible armed attack in West Philippine Sea
AFP assures preparedness for possible armed attack in West Philippine Sea
by Ellicia Del Mundo13 September 2023
Photo courtesy: REUTERS

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday assured that it is prepared for the worst-case scenarios that may happen in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

AFP Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Jempusn de Guzman made the assurance when asked by Senator Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa about their preparedness during the public hearing of the Committee on National Defense.

The Senator particularly asked if they could back the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in case it is under attack, without any help from United States forces.

"Mr. Chairman, your honor, we will be ready when the time comes. In fact, we are preparing the necessary continuity plans with the supervision of the Department of National Defense (DND) in the ongoing missions in the West Philippine Sea," he said.


"By the time, with all our capabilities, with the armed forces, the navy, the airforce, and the Western Command, we will be ready," de Guzman added.

Dela Rosa sought AFP's assurance after Senator Robinhood 'Robin' Padilla raised that a US aircraft was present during the third resupply mission of the PCG last Friday, September 8.

A PCG official confirmed the presence of US aircraft and said this was coordinated with the AFP.


Padilla then questioned the PH Coast Guard's capability in manning the country's territorial waters.

"Hindi po ba dapat kayo ang nag pa-patrol doon? Para niyo bang inaamin na hindi niyo kaya pangalagaan ang ating dagat at kailangan natin ng US navy doon paikot-ikot?" he said.

"Kinaya nga natin na walang 'Kano' eh, six years. Bakit may 'Kano' ngayon? Inaanim ba natin na kailangan na natin ng Amerikan diyan? Eto na ba tayo, kasama na natin sila?" the Senator added.

The PCG, on the other hand, stood that it could defend the Philippine Sea alone.


National security expert Rommel Banlaoi had earlier warned that the ongoing tension between the PCG and Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) may soon lead to "violent encounters".

Interviewed during DZRH’s Huntahan, he said the country should be prepared for military action if this happens, and see to what extent the US will be involved.

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