‘ENEMY AT OUR DOORSTEP’

Navy chief seeks urgent defense upgrade

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NAVAL DAY Navy personnel march alongside BRP Tarlac, an amphibious landing dock vessel, during the Philippine Navy’s celebration of its 118th anniversary on Wednesday. The celebration coincided with the commissioning of the vessel. AFP PHOTO

NAVAL DAY Navy personnel march alongside BRP Tarlac, an amphibious landing dock vessel, during the Philippine Navy’s celebration of its 118th anniversary on Wednesday. The celebration coincided with the commissioning of the vessel. AFP PHOTO

The commander of the Philippine Navy said the country needs to focus on territorial defense urgently, warning that the enemy “stands at our doorstep.”

“Our country is yet again faced with a similar situation that prompted the establishment of the Navy a 118 years ago. Today, the enemy stands at our doorstep and we can no longer over-exaggerate the urgency of the threat against our maritime interests and possibly our territorial integrity,” Vice Admiral Caesar Taccad, flag officer in command of the Philippine Navy, said in his speech during the Navy’s celebration of its anniversary on Wednesday.

Without mentioning China, the Navy chief made the statement amid rising tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) where Beijing had built several artificial islands in areas claimed by the Philippines.

Relations between China and the Philippines have been frosty since Chinese vessels invaded Panatag Shoal and engaged the Philippine Navy in a standoff.


“The need for our country to bring more focus to territorial defense is more pronounced than ever, a need which we have to answer to even while we are addressing our internal security problems. Our Commander in Chief once said, ‘What is ours is ours.’ Sir, rest assured that your Navy will abide by its duty to defend and protect what is rightfully ours,” Taccad said.

The Navy is optimistic that it will transform into a modern and formidable force with the acquisition of additional equipment soon.

Taccad said the Navy will “continue performing while transforming” with the continuing upgrade of its capabilities, strengthening of its personnel’s competencies and commitment, and with the support of lawmakers.

“More assets will be arriving within the year and the acquisition of more platforms is already in the pipeline,” he added.

“We cannot afford to slow down. We have already built a firm foundation marked by a culture of integrity and excellence, and we mean to continue sailing toward becoming the modern, formidable Navy that can make our country proud,” Taccad said.

He pointed out that the Navy has made an unprecedented momentum in the upgrade of its capability since the modernization program started.

Also, the Navy had built better facilities and naval bases that greatly boosted its naval defense posture.

Taccad also cited among others the addition to the Navy’s inventory of two frigates, BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), five Agusta Westland AW-109 helicopters, three multi-purpose attack craft and recently, a landing dock vessel, the BRP Tarlac and five landing craft from Australia — BRP Waray, BRP Iwak, BRP Agta, BRP Ivatan and BRP Batak.

“Today we stand proud because we are a far cry from the old, decrepit Navy that we once were. We are a Navy poised for modernization and our shared aspiration of a strong and credible Navy is almost at hand,” he said.

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7 Comments

  1. I hope our upgrading will mean purchasing of new equipment instead of buying second hand or hand me down assets. Those old navy ships that we have can’t compete with the modern ships of our so-called enemy at the door.

  2. tony de leon on

    Pres Duterte should continue the AFP modernization at a faster pace of all the branches of the service including the coast guard. PN needs at least 4 mini subs, PAF needs at least 2 squadron of fighter jets, coast guard needs more ships and choppers, and the Army needs bigger tanks, mobile missiles, 155 howitzers, and choppers for air assault. we should be ready as the world is getting crazy. especially now that he wants to revive the Sabah claim. Malaysia now is going to be and has been an adversary, and Vietnam seize one of our islet in Spratlys 10 yrs ago. Now China. of course we cannot win against china militarily but with a credible defense we can inflict heavy casualties on them they attack if we have some missiles and subs, plus we have our allies.

  3. Leodegardo Pruna on

    The plea of the Navy Chief discounts the bragging of P-Noy about his accomplishments in the modernization of the military. At least, the Philippines would no longer see him touting about his achievements when there is none. God save the Philippines.

  4. Vice Adm Taccad has the right idea. In any type of business you need to have the right tools and equipment to achieve your goals. Standard training program goes along with it to ensure our men and women of the armed forces can respond to emergent situations in a professional manner. The new administration should prioritize the materials upgrade and training of our armed forces. The politicians should stop thinking about their lives comfort but think about our countries defense against China’s expansion plan.

    • Vice Admiral Taccad is positioned to depend vigorously the Philippine sovereignty against Duterte’s friend Xi Jinping the Chinese Alexander the great bully and killer of small Asian nation neighbors.

    • We can’t fight China alone. The strategy of Pinoy’s administration is a smart thing to do. Align ourselves with US, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Vietnam.