AFP to protect Australian-Filipino consortium out to drill new exploratory well in WPS

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it is more than ready to secure the Australian-Filipino consortium which is planning to drill a new exploratory well in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). “That area (is within) our exclusive economic zone so any exploration must be protected by our navy. It’s incumbent upon us to protect the activity,” Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs office chief, said.

The consortium will commence drilling on August 1.

Detoyato said the AFP will deploy the Navy to secure the project but did not give further details for security reasons.

“As long as it is within Philippines waters, our Navy will secure those who are involved in economic activities,” he added.

And when asked whether the AFP is expecting the Chinese to harass the consortium, Detoyato said: “We don’t expect any but we are prepared.”