West Philippine Sea defenders honored at PCG's 122nd anniversary

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
West Philippine Sea defenders honored at PCG's 122nd anniversary
Teams from the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group intercept a coast guard vessel used as a mock illegal vessel transporting drugs during an in-ter-agency exercise dubbed ‘Alalayan’ (provide support) in Manila Bay yesterday. The exercise, witnessed by representatives from US and European embassies, was held to test protocols and demonstrate capability in identifying maritime threats within the area of responsibility.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday honored several Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel who rendered exceptional performance, including those who upheld the country’s rights over the West Philippine Sea.

At the PCG's 122nd-anniversary celebration in Manila, the following accolades were presented:

  • Commodore Jay Tarriela was recognized with the coast guard distinguished service medal for demonstrating “distinguished and commendable competency, courage and patriotism” as an adviser and spokesperson for the PCG in the West Philippine Sea.
  • Petty Officer 3 Jason Nicol and Seaman First Joseph Rivera received the distinguished coast guard cross for their brave act in cutting Chinese coast guard barriers at Scarborough or Panatag Shoal.
  • BRP Malapascua earned the same honor for its “meritorious courage, bravery and patriotism in the face of danger that resulted in the success of coast guard operations in the West Philippine Sea", including resupplying Ayungin Shoal.
  • Despite challenges, BRP Malabrigo, hit by a Chinese coast guard water cannon, also received the award.
  • PCG District Palawan, Coast Guard Stations in Manila, Malacañang, and Sorsogon, PCG substation in Tanza, Petty Officer 1 Ronald Empeñado, non-uniformed personnel Gloria Ricafrente, and lighthouse keeper Antonio Beruela were all celebrated for their service.

During the ceremony, PCG Chief Artemio Abu expressed their commitment to defending the territory in the West Philippine Sea.

“Despite the dangers of operating in the West Philippine Sea, the coast guard continues to fulfill its mission of ensuring that we do not yield even a square inch our territory to any foreign power,” he said.

Marcos also announced that the government will acquire 40 patrol boats to bolster the PCG's capacity in safeguarding the nation's maritime territories. — Evelyn Macairan

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