Shown in newspaper headlines today is the photo of the country’s newest warship, BRP Gregorio del Pilar. Named after a Filipino general during the Philippine-American War, this warship is actually a de-commissioned US Coast Guard cutter. It is yet another sign of the government’s intent to defend its seas, obviously on the country’s western seas. More than this warship, the President is also looking into the acquisition of more ships, fighter jets, and armored carriers (“PH buying more ships, says P-Noy” by Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 24, 2011, Vol. 26, No. 257, front page, A6).Of course, such desire is not geared towards an all-out military action as we all know that we don’t have the full capability yet nor the resources to engage into wars, much less battles. The President’s plan only goes to show a focused intent to defend our sovereignty, particularly over our waters.
It is likely that critics are huddling together now, brewing up counter-statements to the government’s actions. But we must look forward into the future and see that if we play softly against those who make aggressive advances over our territories, we cannot hope to earn respect from other states. We can only back up and support the government with these initiatives.
The issue of such ships having originated from the United States will be hot soon enough. But that’s another story.
Inquirer article: “President Aquino: Ship symbol of our defense”
Photo credit: Mike Alquinto/ NPPA Images