AFP ready to ‘use whatever resources and means’ to defend sovereignty
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine military will “use whatever resources and means” to defend Philippine sovereignty and enforce laws within its territory if challenged.
The Department of National Defense issued the remarks amid protests on reports of Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea.
“The DND and AFP stand ready to defend Philippine sovereignty and enforce our laws within our territory. This includes the Municipality of Kalayaan, which is part of the province of Palawan,” the DND said in a statement.
“While we denounce war as an instrument of national policy, we will use whatever resources and means at our disposal to defend our own if and when we are called to action by the National Command Authority,” it added.
Protesters marched to the Chinese embassy in Manila on Tuesday to oppose Beijing’s presence around Pag-asa Island (Thitu) and other areas in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
They also expressed discontent on the government’s loans with China due to questionable conditions.
The government recently filed a diplomatic protest against China for its deployment of several vessels around Pag-asa.
President Rodrigo Duterte has earned criticisms for playing down the South China Sea dispute with China to build warmer ties in exchange for trade and economic investments. /ee
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