The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said it does not see any problem with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order preventing other members of the Cabinet from publicly discussing the West Philippine Sea issue.
“We do not have any issue with the President’s express directive to the Cabinet. In so far as the AFP is concerned, we are better silently but faithfully performing our mission,” AFP spokesperson Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a message to reporters.
He, however, added that the order does not stop them from protecting the country’s territory.
“We were not ordered to stop or will neither renege from performing our constitutional mandate to ensure that our people enjoy what our EEZ (exclusive economic zone) provides nor cease patrolling our seas defending our territory,” he added.
Meanwhile, AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said Duterte’s directive, which only allows Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. to speak on the issue, is very clear.
“Meanwhile, the AFP shall continue to support the maritime activities of NTF WPS (National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea) in the territorial waters and EEZ of our country across the western frontier,” he added. SOVEREIGNPH