MANILA — If joint patrolling by concerned parties will be done to preserve stability and freedom of navigation of international and domestic shipping, then the Philippine Navy (PN) is more than willing to participate.
This was the response of PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan when asked if the Navy is prepared to conduct joint patrolling in uncontested areas of the South China Sea.
“We have supported combined and joint patrolling for anti-piracy purposes, like in the Straits of Malacca, and this have been a successful one. We can support it if this will be the objective — preserving stability and freedom of navigation of international/domestic shipping,” he said.
Before joint patrolling can start, Millan said there must be a framework of collaboration among all concerned parties.
“Joint patrolling is governed by frameworks of collaboration acceptable to all parties concerned and must be anchored on trust from each party’s factoring diplomatic, legal/political, and environmental considerations among others,” Millan pointed out.
The PN chief stressed that joint patrolling does not cover disputed areas in the South China Sea.
“For the disputed areas, I cannot comment on the position of the Philippine government as this must be addressed by concerned agencies,” he said.