(Photo by Gelaine Gutierrez/PIA-NCR)
MANILA, (PIA) -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Friday, May 26, graced the commissioning of two brand new gunboats that will bolster the Philippines' maritime defense and capabilities.
Pres. Marcos witnessed the activation of two Israeli-made, fast attack interdiction craft-missile (FAIC-M) platforms–the recently christened BRP Gener Tinangag (PG903) and BRP Domingo Deluana (PG905)--which were named in honor of the Philippine Marine Corps heroes and Medal for Valor awardees for bravery and sacrifice beyond the call of duty, late Cpl. Gener Tinangag and late Sgt. Domingo Deluana.
In his keynote, Marcos assured the administration's continuous efforts to modernize and improve the nation’s maritime defense during the 125th founding anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy held at the Philippine Navy Headquarters, Roxas Boulevard in Manila this morning.
“Considering the changing tides of our national security and the significant gaze that we have made in terms of internal security, our Armed Forces is working to recalibrate its focus more towards external defense of our borders,” he said.
The President also emphasized that “full support for the Armed Forces must be guaranteed, especially for the Philippine Navy’s priority goals of enhancing its intelligence, defense, and coordinative capability.”
Focusing on enhancing maritime capabilities, the event served as a platform to showcase the country’s commitment to bolstering its naval forces. As the country faces evolving security challenges, the government recognizes the need to modernize and strengthen its naval capabilities.
Joining the fleet of the Acero-class Patrol Gunboat, these additional assets are expected to be deployed to the vital choke points, major sea lines of communication, and littoral domains of the country.
“These 32-meter long gunboats will provide added muscles to the Navy's capability to secure the seas with their quick intercept ability, remote stabilized weapons, and short-range missiles,” the Naval Public Affairs Office said for its part.
According to the Naval PAO, the acquisition of the two more platforms is a step closer toward the completion of the FAICM Acquisition Project that includes nine Israel-made Shaldag Mark V missile boats worth around 10 billion pesos.
Meanwhile, President Marcos also said that the government is “keenly aware that the national interests are to be pursued in the context of global order.”
“The seas that stretched before us are not to be seen as boundaries that divide our nations but they must be seen as channels for mutually beneficial exchanges and collaboration,” he said.
Moreover, he recognized the vital role of the Philippine Navy in the collective effort to nurture “friendly international relations by fostering mutual trust and confidence, freedom of navigation and overflight, and safety of our seas.”
This year’s theme, "Guardians of the Seas: Ensuring National Sovereignty, Security and Stability," emphasizes the Navy's unwavering commitment to its duty in protecting the seas and security of the Filipino people for 125 years.
“We acknowledge their manifold achievements and accomplishments over the years, especially the efforts to secure our archipelago more significantly in the Batanes and Kalayaan Islands, the Philippine Rise, and the West Philippine Sea,” Pres. Marcos said.
According to President Marcos, the Philippine Navy are not only valiant guardians of our seas and shores but “peaceful emissaries as well, highly disciplined and experienced in international engagement. It adheres to the international recognized codes of conduct such UNCLOS, and the recently approved ASEAN Guidelines of Maritime Interaction.”
Awards were also given to the outstanding units and personnel during the celebration bannered by the Philippine Marine Corps as the Type Command of the Year, Naval Forces Southern Luzon as the top Naval Operating Force, and the Naval Sea Systems Command and Navy Personnel Management Center as the best Support Command and Support Unit, respectively.
The Navy's 125th anniversary is a monumental year befittingly preluded by major events that included the demonstration of the PN's enhanced capabilities headlined by the historic hosting of the 17th ASEAN Navy Chiefs' Meeting, ASEAN Fleet Review, and 2nd ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise. (PIA-NCR)