Gibo, AFP officials visit security facilities in Aurora

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star
Gibo, AFP officials visit security facilities in Aurora
Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro and military officials inspect security facilities in Aurora province on March 14.

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro and top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) visited key security facilities in Aurora province on Thursday in an effort to ensure the country’s control over resources in the Philippine Rise.

He and military leaders inspected a detachment of the Naval Installations and Facilities-Northern Luzon (NIF-NL) in Casiguran.

The naval detachment, constructed and facilitated in cooperation with the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, will boost the AFP’s presence in the area and enhance security in the Philippine Rise and Philippine Sea in line with the country’s Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept, defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong said.

During the visit, Teodoro met with Maria Cristina Suaverdez of the APECO board of directors, along with the officers of NIF-NL, to discuss continuing efforts to guarantee the country’s control over resources in the Philippine Rise.

Teodoro also visited the Philippine Ports Authority Terminal Management Office and met with Dingalan Mayor Shierwin Taay, Andolong said.

Meanwhile, the federal government of Germany declared it would continue supporting the efforts of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on maritime security.

The German embassy handed over to PCG officials “several units of printer, camera, underwater camera, projector, smart TV, desktop computer and microphone” during a recent event, according to a statement from the PCG on March 15.

PCG chief of staff Rear Admiral Hostillo Arturo Cornelio said the donation would “greatly help enforce the mandated functions of the Command to provide additional support to the efforts of PCG personnel in securing maritime waters and implement maritime security.”

“We express our hopes and prayers for the sustained success of all your endeavors as you continue to extend assistance in strengthening the capabilities of partner nations,” he added.

Germany would “remain a reliable partner in promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” according to German Ambassador Andreas Michael Pfaffernoschke.

Meanwhile, PCG commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan was “unanimously reelected” as chairman of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre Governing Council last March 14 during its meeting in Singapore, the PCG said in another statement.

His chairmanship until May 2027 “underscores the PCG’s leadership in an esteemed international platform, showcasing the Philippines’ commitment to maritime security and cooperation,” it added. — Ghio Ong

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