Allies help in monitoring West PHL Sea, recent resupply missions successful

“We have limited capability in monitoring but because of our friendly relations with some countries, we are provided information [regarding the West Philippine Sea],” National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said answering Senator Loren Legarda’s question during a budget hearing.

Legarda asked Gazmin how Armed Forces of the Philippines is monitoring the West Philippine Sea amid financial constraint.

Secretary Gazmin noted that AFP is relying on current capabilities. “Right now we rely only on what we have.”

Gazmin also told the Senate committee that the government has access to West Philippine Sea and recent resupply missions were not interfered.

“Our two recent resupply missions were not bothered by China.” This is amid the increased presence of Chinese maritime enforcer in the region.

During a successful resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal last March 2014, a US Navy plane was present to provide support.

Last August, a Chinese reporter asked AFP Chief General Catapang, “When is your next resupply mission to Ayungin [Shoal] and how do you plan to outsmart the Chinese vessels?”

General Catapang answered, “In order to outsmart the Chinese, we will not announce the date we plan to do it. We’ll just do it first and announce it later.”