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The Philippines Pours More Military Assets to West Philippine Sea

The Philippines is ready to assert itself once again.
IMAGE U.S. NAVY, PHILIPPINE NAVY, PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD
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The Armed Forces of the Philippines is concentrating its naval and air assets to the West Philippine Sea. According to the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea, the coast guard and the military has deployed sea assets to Palawan’s waters, specifically to the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), parts of which are being claimed by China.  

Among the assets deployed are the following vessels.  

BRP Apolinario Mabini (PS-36) 

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark R. Alvarez (Public Domain).

BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35) 

Photo by U.S. Navy | Public Domain.
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BRP Dagupan City (LS-551) 

Photo by U.S. Navy | Public Domain.

BRP Magat Salamat (PS-20) 

Photo by Ensign Herlijk F Gregorio (Philippine Navy) | Public Domain.

BRP Miguel Malvar (PS-19)

Photo by 1t0pe125 | Wikimedia Commons.
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BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) 

Photo by Philippine Navy | Public Domain.

BRP Tarlac (LD-601)

Photo by U.S. Navy | Public Domain.

BRP Cabra (MRRV 4409)

Photo by Philippine Coast Guard | Public Domain.
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BRP Malapascua (MRRV 4403) 

Photo by Philippine Coast Guard | Public Domain.

BRP Mangyan (AS-71)  

Photo by Philippine Navy | Public Domain.

In March, the Philippines reported the presence of 220 Chinese vessels at Julian Felipe Reef. That number has been reduced to fewer than 10 as of April 13. The Philippine Navy will redeploy its two brand-new missile frigates it purchased from South Korea: the BRP Jose Rizal, which is the flagship vessel of the Philippines, and the BRP Antonio Luna.

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BRP Jose Rizal

Photo by Philippine Navy.

BRP Antonio Luna 

Photo by Philippine Navy.

The Philippines warned it would file daily diplomatic protests against China, demanding the latter remove its ships from Julian Felipe Reef, which is claimed by both countries. The reef is well within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines and has been recognized by the United Nations as part of the Philippines. 

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The move of the Philippines to send a large deployment of navy assets to the area is seen as a response to China ignoring the unprecedented daily diplomatic protests filed by the Philippines. China released a statement saying it owns Julian Felipe Reef.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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