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Marcos: Philippines to use new Navy vessels for WPS patrol, disaster response

The two newly-commissioned Navy vessels will be used for patrolling the West Philippine Sea (WPS)and for disaster response, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Friday.

“Lahat ‘yan ginagamit talaga natin pang patrolya--hindi lamang sa West Philippine Sea kung hindi pagka dun sa civil defense. Kagaya ngayon, maraming pinaguusapan at pinaghahandaan e bagyo,” Marcos said in an ambush interview after gracing the 125th anniversary of the Philippine Navy.

[We use them for patrolling, not only in the West Philippine Sea but also for civil defense. Like now, what we are discussing and preparing for is the typhoon.]

The President emphasized the importance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in disaster response specifically in search and rescue operations and relief distribution.

“Since they have already [been] commissioned, then talagang ito ay isasama na natin sa imbentaryo ng ating mga barko para gamitin both for the defense from external forces and also for civil defense sa pagtulong sa mga disaster na nangyayari ngayon sa Pilipinas,” he added.

[Since they have already [been] commissioned, we will include them in our inventory of naval assets used both for defense from external forces and also for civil defense ... in assisting in disasters occurring in the Philippines.] 

During the event, Marcos witnessed the commissioning of two fast attack interdiction craft-missile platforms — BRP Gener Tinangag and BRP Domingo Deluana — which were part of the nine Israel-made boats ordered by the government in 2019 worth around P10 billion.

According to the Philippine Navy, these vessels will be deployed to the vital choke points, major sea lines of communication, and littoral domains of the country.

These gunboats are expected to provide added muscles to the Navy’s capabilities to secure the seas with their quick intercept ability, remote stabilized weapons and short-range missiles.

The two newly-commissioned gunboats were named after two Philippine Navy-Marines who died in line of duty in Marawi and Maguindanao.  — RSJ, GMA Integrated News