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Philippine warship heads for port

/ 08:58 AM August 18, 2011

The Philippine Navy’s newly-acquired warship, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, arrived in the country on Wednesday ahead of schedule after a month-long voyage from the United States.

The refurbished former US Coast Guard Hamilton-class weather high endurance cutter will be deployed to protect the country’s natural gas and oil exploration projects off Palawan amid reported incursions in Philippine-claimed territory in the West Philippine Sea.

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Manned by 13 officers and 82 enlisted personnel under the command of Capt. Alberto Cruz, the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar entered Philippine territory at 1 p.m. Wednesday, a Navy spokesman said.

Around 2:30 p.m., the ship was 273 nautical miles east of Samar and was expected to pass the San Bernardino Strait off the Bicol region, said Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay.

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The BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is expected to anchor drop at Manila Bay on Aug. 21 at 8 a.m. to undergo customs, immigration and quarantine inspection.

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TAGS: former US Coast Guard Hamilton-class weather high endurance cutter, newly-acquired warship BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, Philippine Navy, West Philippine Sea
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