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AFP plan: Credible defense

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday vowed to pursue the next phase of the military modernization program from 2017 to 2022 which focuses on having  a credible defense and on securing  maritime territory.

“In the long run, we will still follow our modernization because it jibes with   long-term plans like having credible deterrence to secure our territory, maritime plan especially now that we have more water territory,” Lorenzana said.

The first phase of the  AFP modernization used up P81 billion for the  purchases of  the  jets and  warships,  Lorenzana said, expressing gratitude to the former administration. 

The Defense chief  said resupply missions to  a Marine contingent in Ayungin Shoal  will continue following a UN tribunal decision  upholding the Philippine position in a maritime dispute with China.

He made this statement Wednesday after noting that the scheduled resupply for Ayungin Shoal, slated for last week, was cancelled  pending the ruling of the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Lorenzana said the mission was scrubbed to avoid giving the impression that the Philippines  was  trying to provoke China.

“There was a scheduled resupply sometime last week, but we postponed it because of the impending ruling to avoid giving the impression that we are trying to provoke China. I don’t know when the next resupply will be but definitely we are going there to resupply them by any means,” the DND chief stressed.

The Philippines has Marine units deployed in Ayungin Shoal, Pagasa (Thitu) Island, Lawak (Nanshan) Island, Parola (Northeast Cay) Island, Patag (Flat) Island, Kota (Loaita) Island, Rizal (Commodore) Reef, Likas (West York) Island, and Panata (Lankiam Cay) Island.

At 5 p.m. July 12 (Manila time), the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration handed down its decision on the case which invalidated China’s claim over its “historic rights” to the disputed waters, stressing that its ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ claim has no legal basis.

The ruling also added that China violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone through meddling with Philippine fishing and oil exploration in the region, allowing the illegal entry of Chinese fishermen into the disputed waters and causing harm to marine environment in the region through its massive reclamation activities.

Such actions, according to the tribunal, has also caused the escalation of tension between the two parties. With PNA

Topics: Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana , military modernization program , Armed Forces of the Philippines , AFP , Credible defense
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