PH Navy holds anniversary on run-down base 100 miles from Spratlys
MANILA, Philippines—Amidst the ongoing dispute over the Spratlys, the Philippine Navy celebrated its 116th anniversary on the “frontlines” of the country, just 100 nautical miles away from the disputed island group.
It was the “frontline policy” of Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, Philippine Navy Chief, which became the deciding factor in choosing Ulugan Bay, Palawan as the venue of the anniversary.
The Philippine Navy’s anniversary comes after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s claim that China “has seriously threatened peace stability, maritime security and safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea” and before the reported sinking of a Vietnamese boat by China.
And the chosen venue of the anniversary, with President Benigno Aquino III gracing it, showed that it would raise the morale of the Philippine Navy in safeguarding the nation.
“The choice of the venue exemplifies Vice Admiral Millan’s ‘frontline first’ policy that places foremost the promotion of the morale and welfare of personnel while ensuring the accomplishment of the Navy mission,” Colonel Edgardo Arevalo, Navy spokesman, said.
“Hence the celebration slated to be held in one of the Navy’s forward operating bases.”
Despite its facilities, pier, living quarters, in desperate need of rehabilitation, Naval Station Carlito Cunanan, said Ulugan Bay was chosen as the new operating base of the Naval Forces West due to its strategic location compared to the former headquarters at the Naval Station in Apolinario Jalandoon in Puerto Princesa City.
Millan said the venue was chosen to show the improvements that needed to be done in the camp.
“It’s our obligation to develop our facilities not for anything else,” Millan said.
He added that they were looking to address the concerns in the facilities and to boost the morale of the Navy.
“It is our commitment really to sustain our units in the field so that they can carry out their mandated role, which is protecting the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Millan said.
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