Lorenzana: Air Force, Navy patrols set new record highs in 2018
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine military has sharply increased its aerial and naval patrols in the past year to safeguard the country’s borders.
At the pre-State of the Nation Address forum in Davao City on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the military has carried out stepped up patrols to heighten domain awareness and boost its protection of the national territory.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines has logged a 190 percent increase in steaming time and 215 percent increase in flying hours to heighten our domain awareness,” he said.
For 2018, there were 90,799 hours of steaming time registered for sea patrols compared to 31,295 hours in 2017.
For aerial patrols, there were 7,707 hours of flying time recorded in 2018 from 2,440 hours in 2017.
“Ito po ay para paigtingin ang pagbabantay sa ating pambansang teritoryo,” Lorenzana said.
The Philippines has one of the longest coastlines in the world. It is also surrounded by the South China Sea on the north and west, Pacific Ocean in the east, and Celebes Sea in the south.
Lorenzana said the trilateral patrols with Malaysia and Indonesia in southern Philippines have also resulted to “significant reduction” of piracy and kidnapping incidents. From 17 cases in 2018, there were zero incidents as of April 2019.
“Ang napakatagal ng problema sa Mindanao na nagdudulot ng kahihiyan ay nalapatan ng angkop na solusyon,” he said.
But the reported kidnapping off Sabah last June, Lorenzana said, turned out to have links with Filipino suspects.
“They were unfortunately brought to Jolo. So last touch pa rin tayo,” he said.
Wednesday’s forum is the last leg of the 3-part fora highlighting the accomplishments of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration ahead of his Sona on Monday, July 22. /je
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