By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz
MANILA – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has completed a week-long rotation and resupply (RORE) mission in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) despite being shadowed by China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels.
In a statement on Wednesday, the PCG said multi-role response vessels BRP Cabra and BRP Sindangan conducted the RORE mission from Jan. 3 until Tuesday when they arrived at the Port of Buliluyan in Bataraza, Palawan.
During the mission, it said the vessels and their crew delivered essential supplies to PCG personnel deployed at the Kalayaan Island Group –specifically at Lawak Island, Panata Island, and Pag-asa Island.
Members of the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group also took part in the mission.
Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDPAL) Commander, Capt. Dennis Labay, lauded the PCG personnel stationed in these islands for actively serving at far-flung units in the WPS, especially during the holiday season.
“While we fully understand that it is part of their job, we also want to lift their morale by allowing them to see their families after performing their duties for the nation. Then, they will prepare and be ready to be deployed again,” Labay said.
PCG Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan said these islands will undergo improvements this year and earmarked PCG fiscal year 2024 additional budget for infrastructure development to boost response and monitoring capabilities in the WPS.
In a message to reporters, PCG spokesperson, Commodore Armando Balilo, said the mission went smoothly with no confrontations with any Chinese vessels.
However, Balilo said a CCG vessel was spotted to have monitored and shadowed the PCG vessels during the mission. (PNA)