According to a senior military official, Philippine military will boost its defense in the West Philippine Sea to counter China’s occupying activities in the territory. AFP, according to the unnamed official, has a four-year plan to protect Philippines from poaching, illegal fishing, and increased presence of Chinese vessels and aircraft in the disputed territories.
“We need to ensure access to these oil-and gas-rich areas which are within our territory,” said the senior military official. “There is an actual threat, active presence of Chinese ships, including frigates, around the Second Thomas Shoal.”
“China will occupy Reed Bank, it is highly possible that China is determined to assert its claim politically and militarily.” According to the officer to counter China’s plan AFP deployed two patrol vessels and two reconnaissance air assets.
Moreover, patrol vessels are planned to be deployed in Lawak Island and Rizal Reef to prevent Chinese exploration for oil and gas.