AFP says more than 400 foreign vessels sighted in WPS
AFP says more than 400 foreign vessels sighted in WPS
AFP says more than 400 foreign vessels sighted in WPS
by Ellicia Del Mundo11 August 2023
Photo courtesy: REUTERS

More than 400 foreign vessels have been spotted in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) revealed on Thursday, August 10.

In a press briefing held at AFP Western Command in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, AFP Western Command Commander Alberto Carlos said they monitored nearly 500 ships during their monitoring last Wednesday.

“Among the EEZ [exclusive economic zone] in the Wescom area lang ah, mga 400 plus. Siguro, mga 85 percent doon ay Chinese,” he said.

In response to the growing number of foreign vessels in WS, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner said that they are eyeing to deploy more Philippine ships and aircraft to guard the country’s EEZ.

“Ang labanan dito ay padamihan. Naturally, tayo ay hindi tayo pwede lumaban sa gano’n level sa China kasi we have much lesser number of ships, even fishing vessels,” he said.

Brawner added that they will also deploy fishing vessels to establish the country’s presence in the area.

“We want to use our fisher folks as reservists, we are going to teach them how to help us defend our country,” he said.

The AFP Chief then underscored the importance of the AFP modernization program.

“Talagang napakahalaga na masuportahan ng ating gobyerno ang modernization ng ating Armed Forces of the Philippines. We need more ships, we need more aircraft, we need more defense systems, drones, ang dami nating kailangan,” he said.

Brawner likewise raised that the armed forces will be needing more funds for modernization.

"As we increase the number of platforms, nagmu-multiply din yung gastos natin," he said.

The sighting of more than 400 foreign vessels comes after the China Coast Guard (CCG) blasted water cannons on the vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) near Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

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