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Lorenzana: No budget for deployment of maritime militias in West Philippine Sea


Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday said there is no budget yet as regards the plan to deploy maritime militias in the West Philippine Sea.

Lorenzana told reporters that President Rodrigo Duterte had said there are no resources yet for the plan so it is better if it will not push through yet.

"Alam ninyo nabigla rin si Admiral Bacordo noong sinabi niyang mayroon na pero wala pa talaga. Tama 'yung sinasabi kong pinagaaralan eh. First, walang pera. Pangalawa, 'yung pera na 'yan supposed to procure bigger ships di ba? Hindi mo naman gawing kahoy... madaling masira eh," Lorenzana said in an ambush interview.

"Thirdly sabi ni Presidente mukhang hindi natin kaya 'yan, huwag muna nating gawin dahil wala pa tayong resources so 'yun, there is no militia.... there is a plan but nasa isip pa lang namin 'yung mga militia..." he added.

Earlier, Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said maritime militias would be deployed in the West Philippine Sea to help in guarding the region and to secure Filipino fishermen who are often harassed by Chinese forces.

Bacordo said deploying maritime militias is a kind of "stop gap" measure. Maritime militias will also be deployed as a response to the alleged presence of Chinese militias in the region.

Lorenzana said the information about the presence of Chinese militias should still be verified.

"Hindi naman inaamin ng China so let us take their words as it is but let us also verify," Lorenzana said. — RSJ, GMA News