Government forces recently tested their operational readiness to respond to attacks on Philippine oil platforms near the South China Sea.
The military’s Western Command (Wescom) conducted the exercises weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the ban on oil exploration in the area that China is claiming to be part of its mythical nine-dash line territory.
The so-called the “Gas-Oil Platform Takedown” exercise at the Matinloc gas platform in El Nido, Palawan was staged during the weekend, Wescom said.
The Wescom said in a statement the exercise was designed “to test the operational readiness and interagency coordination mechanism among Wescom joint task forces and partner agencies.”
Among the military’s assets that took part in the drill are Philippine Navy’s brand new frigate BRP Jose Rizal, helicopters, patrol crafts 380 and 389 and rigid-hulled inflatable boats of the Philippine Coast Guard.
Overseeing the exercise were military officials led by newly installed Vice Chief Of Staff Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria, WesCom chief Rear Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez and PCG district director Commodore Arnaldo Lim. SOVEREIGNPH