DND assures public that ban on nuclear weapons continues

September 4, 2013 9:13 am 

MANILA, Sept. 3 — The Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday assured members of the House Appropriations committee that they are regularly inspecting all foreign military vessels before they are given permission to dock in the country's ports.

This was the assurance made by Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin as he presented the agency's budget for 2014 to the House of Representatives Tuesday.

“We are vigilant in prohibiting any war ships equipped with nuclear weapons," Gazmin said.

He said that they follow protocol not to allow any war ship equipped with nuclear weapons.

“We will follow what the law says and the Constitution,” the DND chief assured the public after he was asked by Akbayan party list Rep. Walden Bello if there is a possibility that some American war ships equipped with nuclear weapons managed to make port calls.

Bello claimed that the Philippines is one of the signatories of Southeast Asian Free Zone Treaty agreement that disallows the entry of nuclear powered vessels or those carrying nuclear weapons.

“This agreement was hatched in 1994 among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and took effect in 1997,” Bello pointed out.

Gazmin added that they will not break the protocol and will continue to strictly implement what the Constitution mandates. (PNA)

FPV/SAMMY F. MARTIN

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