By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called on the Department of
Transportation (DOTr) to commend Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)
personnel who are able to successfully drive away foreign vessels in
the West Philippine Sea.
“Congratulations are in order for the PCG personnel who bravely stood
up for our sovereign rights. These acts of bravery should not go
unnoticed. Hindi madali ang obligasyong ito, kaya’t sana mabigyan sila
ng parangal para sa bawat pagtindig,” Hontiveros said.
The PCG’s BRP Cabra reportedly issued a radio challenge to five
Chinese ships and two Vietnamese ships that were spotted in Marie
Louise Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
PCG spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo said a female radio operator
used a Long Range Acoustic Device to conduct the radio challenge,
which drove away the seven foreign vessels.
“Nakakaproud na buong tapang na naitaboy ng Pilipinong barko ang mga
dayuhang ilegal na nakikipagsapalaran sa sarili nating karagatan. We
need to be able to regularly and continuously give commendations so as
to encourage more officers to steadfastly defend and protect our seas
and our people,” Hontiveros said.
In May this year, Chinese vessels also dispersed from Sabina Shoal in
the WPS, after the PCG, issued a radio challenge for being in the
Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
Hontiveros also said that these radio challenges only go to show that
the Philippines can assert our ownership of the WPS without resorting
“Hindi kailangang humantong sa giyera ang pagdepensa at pagprotekta
natin ng WPS. Ang magigiting nating opisyal sa PCG ay mismong patunay
na maaari tayong manindigan nang hindi nagiging marahas at malupit.
Considering the heightened tensions in the disputed waters, official
commendation should be given to our officers. It’s the least we can do
for those who serve on the frontlines of our national security,”
Hontiveros concluded. (AI/MTVN)