Navy defends increasing military presence in Batanes
Navy defends increasing military presence in Batanes
Navy defends increasing military presence in Batanes
by Kristan Carag13 February 2024

The Philippine Navy shrugged off the remarks of China on the orders of Defense Sec. Gilberto Teodoro to increase the number of government troops near Batanes Islands, which lies near Taiwan.

China claims jurisdiction over Taiwan under the One-China Policy even though the island has a different government.

Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad stressed on Sunday, February 11, that the decision of Teodoro only seeks to secure the territory of the Philippines, and the country does not seek conflict against other states.

"Hindi naman natin sinasabi na may kinakalaban tayo sapagkat ayaw ng ating Constitution na gumamit ng digmaan bilang instrument ng foreign policy," Trinidad said during an interview with DZRH.


"It is all part of securing what is ours," he added.

While the Philippine government does not monitor a threat in Batanes, Trinidad mentioned that the increased military presence in geographically isolated islands will prevent a similar incident to the West Philippine Sea, also known as the South China Sea.

He explained that the Philippines lost control of the disputed area to China due to a lack of government forces in the area.

"Atin naman yung (Batanes Group of Islands), kailangan natin ng (military) presence. Walang pagkakaiba sa West Philippine Sea noon, na kakulangan ng presence ang siyang dahilan kaya nakapag-establish ang mga Chinese Navy sa Mischief Reef," Trinidad said.


Trinidad also highlighted the importance of maintaining security in the Bashi Channel, which lies between Mavulis Island of the Philippines, and Taiwan, since many ships pass through the area.

"Ito ay international sea lane. Maraming dumadaan na international trade so important na ito ay manatiling free and open," Trinidad said.

Trinidad reiterated that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that the focus of the Philippine government should shift from internal security to external security due to the weakening of the local communist insurgency in the country.

"Yung ating communist insurgency ay patapos na so we could focus on the greater task of defense and security na palabas dapat ang orientation," the Philippine Navy official said.


In a press conference last February 8, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin cautioned the Philippines from 'playing with fire' when asked about the increased military deployment in Batanes.

Wang said that neighbors 'should get along with each other based on the principle of good-neighborliness, friendship, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and non-interference in each others’ internal affairs'.

"I want to stress again that the Taiwan question is at the heart of China’s core interests and is a red line and bottom line that must not be crossed," the Chinese official said.

"Relevant parties in the Philippines need to understand it clearly, tread carefully and don’t play with fire on this question to avoid being manipulated and eventually hurt," he added.


The Department of National Defense responded that 'China has no business warning the Philippines about what it does within its territory.

The DND added that the Filipino people have low credibility of China due to the pronouncement and actions of the country,

Related Topics
listen Live
DZRH News Live Streaming
Most Read