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Articles about Palace involvement in the frigate project and accusations that the administration is suppressing press freedom are efforts 'to discredit this administration,' says Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque
'Everyone in the Navy wants that frigate because it's a combat ship. Anong mangyayari sa Navy natin kung walang punch, 'di ba? You cannot have only a transport ship. We should have a punch,' says Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado.
On January 4, 2017, then Philippine Navy chief vice admiral Ronald Mercado wrote Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to reject plans to install the Combat Management System of Hanwha Systems in Philippine warships. A week later, Lorenzana is handed a Hanwha white paper in Malacañang.