By Priam Nepomuceno

Philippine Fleet deputy commander Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad (PNA file photo by Priam F. Nepomuceno)

MANILA – A ranking official of the Philippine Navy sees the “asymmetric approach” as cheaper, faster and more effective strategy in defending the country’s waters.

The Navy’s Philippine Fleet deputy commander Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad defines “asymmetric approach” as matching one’s strength against the weakness of the opponent.

The strategy will have the Philippines securing key approaches like Balintang Channel, Verde Island Passage, San Bernardino Strait, Sibutu Strait, Sulu Sea and Surigao Strait against a potential enemy using newly acquired high-speed fast attack interdiction crafts and other similar-sized vessels in its inventory.

This approach will have the country fielding its agile and speedy assets against larger opponents in what is termed as restricted waters, Trinidad said.

“We don’t have to meet them in the open sea,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

He said the strategy does not involve matching ship-for-ship and plane-for-plane to the prospective opponent.

“Pag sinabing (when you say) asymmetric, you have your strengths to be able to match its weakness,” Trinidad said.

Trinidad cited as example the various “small and highly capable” Special Forces units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In the maritime domain, Trinidad said “asymmetric capabilities” include the use of unmanned systems like drones, drone swarming and sea control through the use of mines.

Having served in the Navy’s Naval Special Operation Group, Trinidad said he preferred the “asymmetric approach” as it is cheaper, faster, easier to train people, and more effective against a larger enemy.

He said the equipment for this purpose is “tactically defensive but has a strike capability”. (PNA)