MANILA, Philippines – The Hamilton class cutter, the BRP Alcaraz, arrives in Subic.
It’s the country’s second warship after BRP Del Pilar.
The 40 year old warships came from the US Coast Guard through the US Excess Defense Articles program.
The government spent P450 million and P600 million to refurbish Del Pilar and Alcaraz.
Carmela Fonbuena filed this report.
President Aquino leads the arrival ceremonies for the countries 2nd warship BRP Ramon Alcaraz here in Subic Zambales with a challenge for the Philippine Navy
They may be lacking in equipment and what they have may be inferior. But determination, says the President, should push the troops to defend the country’s sovereignty.
BENIGNO AQUINO III
Isipin na lamang ninyo ang katapangang ipinamalas ni Commodore Ramon Alcaraz noong Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig, siyam na zero fighters ng Hapon, laban sa nag-iisang Q-boat na yari sa kahoy, pero nakapagpabagsak pa si Commodore Alcaraz ng tatlo sa siyam na ito at matagumpay na naibalik ang kanyang Q-boat. Ibig sabihin: dehado sa gamit, dehado sa sitwasyon, dehado sa kasanayan, pero hindi siya nagpatinag sa kalaban. Nagawang daigin ni Commodore Alcaraz ang tila napaka-imposibleng sitwasyon. (Imagine the valor of Commodore Ramon Alcaraz in WWII, 9 Japanese fighter planes vs a single Q-boat made of wood, but Commodore Alcaraz shot down 3 of 9 planes and got his Q-boat back safely. At a disadvantage in equipment, in the situation, in expertise– but he didn’t back down from the enemy, Commodore Alcaraz overcame great odds.
It’s a challenge the commanding officer of the new warship readily accepted.
CAPTAIN, BRP RAMON ALCARAZ
Batid po namin na hindi dito nagtatapos ang aming trabaho dahil alam po namin na simula lamang ng mas matindi naming pagsisilbi sa bayan. Nakahanda ang aking mga pinuno at tauhan na harapin ang gampanan ang mga susunod naming tungkulin. (We understand that our jobs don’t stop here. Wwe know that this is just the start of more intensified service to our country.)
Our leaders and our men are ready to face and fulfill our functions, as needed in the future.
At a time when Manila is caught in a row with Beijing over the West Philippine Sea, it cannot be a coincidence that they’re holding the arrival ceremonies in a former US military base not too far away from the disputed Panatag or Scarborough Shoal
It is not a coincidence either that the navy and the air force are planning to move camps here in Subic.
JOSE LUIS ALANO
PHILIPPINE NAVY CHIEF
These are part of the areas where they will be deployed, Western Philippine Sea as part of that. For the moment, this is where they are to be initially based.
All these are happening while the defense department is preparing plans to give the US more access to Philippine military bases.
There is no illusion that the latest warships can match China’s military might. but they provide minimum deterrence, according to military leaders, against what they call bullies in the West Philippine Sea.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler. Subic, Zambales. – Rappler.com