MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Thursday, February 9, said that the impending arrival of a second Hamilton-class cutter–acquired by the Philippine government through a grant from the US government–should not be a concern for neighbors in the South China Sea.
Lacierda told reporters in an interview that the vessel is only meant to improve the country’s security against external threats.
Lacierda aired his views as the Communist Party of the Philippines warned earlier in the day that the transfer of another naval cutter from the US government could further heighten tension over the Spratly islands issue and provoke a military conflict in the South China Sea region.
“They shouldn’t be concerned because it’s primarily about protecting our external waters,” Lacierda said. Apart from this, Lacierda said, the vessel will also be used for the protection of our environment.
Lacierda added in an interview with reporters that when President Aquino met with Chinese Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie last year, Aquino informed the latter of the acquisition of the first Hamilton-class ship to protect the country’s territory. – Rappler.com