Second U.S. warship to arrive in the country this year -– Malacanang

February 9, 2012 11:32 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 9 — The United States government will deliver a second warship to the Philippines within this year to guard the country’s waters, a Palace official said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters in an interview in Malacanang that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin made an assurance that the said warship from the US will arrive within this year.

But Lacierda reiterated that the country’s neighbors shouldn’t worry about the acquisition of another warship noting that the Philippine military is just beefing up its defense capabilities.

“They shouldn’t be concerned because primarily it’s about protecting our external waters. That shouldn’t be a concern for our neighbors because primarily it’s for the protection of our waters,” he said.

The government commissioned last December the BRP Gregorio del Pilar after getting it from the US Coast Guard. The BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the Philippines’ first Hamilton-class cutter, arrived in the country in August last year. The warship is the Navy’s largest ship at 380 feet long.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar was deployed by the Navy in the West Philippine Sea. Defense officials said more ships to be acquired by the government will secure the energy projects in Malampaya off Palawan.

During the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last November, she assured that the US would provide the Philippines second warship for its Navy.

Also members of the US Congress who visited the country last month said they would support the country’s plan to acquire more warships from the US. (PNA)

DCT/PCOO/ssc

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