AFP denies Wescom involvement in Ayungin’s ‘new model’

AFP denies Wescom involvement in Ayungin’s ‘new model’

/ 11:33 PM May 07, 2024

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LAOAG CITY, ILOCOS NORTE, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday categorically denied China’s linking of its Western Command (Wescom) to the purported “new model” of management for the Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal situation.

An unidentified Chinese embassy spokesperson on Saturday said that the AFP-Wescom and Chinese authorities agreed with a “new model” to manage the tensions in the shoal where a Philippine navy outpost is located.


This pact was allegedly approved by officials in the Department of National Defense and the National Security Advisor.


READ: NSC ignores China’s claim it had a deal with AFP WESCOM on Ayungin Shoal

“The AFP denies the claim made by the Embassy of China in Manila that the AFP Western Command has agreed to a new model for the conduct in Ayungin Shoal,” said AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla in a press conference here.

“The AFP is a professional organization that operates within the framework of the PH government and in accordance with national policies,” she also said.

Padilla noted that such agreements require the involvement of relevant agencies such as the Department of National Defense and the National Security Council.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. both categorically denied such claims.

Wescom chief on leave

Meanwhile, Wescom commander Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos was on personal leave, Padilla also said on Tuesday.


However, the AFP spokesperson was quick to clarify that Carlos’ leave was a personal one and has nothing to do with the purported “new model.”

“Im not in a position to reveal as to why, but I don’t actually know [the reason],” Padilla said. “Let’s leave it at that, he applied [a leave] for personal reasons.”

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“As to the timing, it is coincidental,” Padilla also explained when asked if this has something to do with the new model.

While on his leave, Rear Admiral Alfonso Torres Jr. will be taking over as acting commander of Wescom, Padilla also confirmed.

TAGS: AFP, Wescom

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