Philippines, Vietnam eye 'war games' in disputed seas

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The Philippines and Vietnam plan to hold joint naval exercises and patrols along common maritime borders in the West Philippine Sea where the two nations have staked claims to some of the Spratly islands.

The agreement was made during the visit of Philippine Navy officials led by Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama to Vietnam from March 11 to 14.

The territorial claims of the Philippines and Vietnam are up against those of regional giant China, which claims the entire Spratlys island chain.

Pama and his staff met with Admiral Nguyen Van Hien, chief of the Vietnam People's Navy, and General Do Ba Ty, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army.

"This visit is expected to provide opportunities for the conduct of joint maritime exercises in the West Philippine Sea (northeast of Vietnam) and other common maritime domains following proper diplomatic channels under guidance from the Department of National Defence," the Philippine Navy said in a statement issued yesterday.

The two Navy chiefs agreed on standard operating procedures (SOPs) to guide interaction between their respective navies in the vicinity of Southeast Cay and the Northeast Cay Island.

Memorandum of Understanding

The SOPs implement a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the two Navy chiefs last October.

The Philippines occupies Northeast Cay Island, which it refers to as Parola Island.

It lies 45 kilometres northwest of Pag-asa Island, the biggest of the Philippine-occupied islets in the Spratlys. It is three kilometres north of Vietnam-occupied Southwest Cay Island which the Philippines refers to as Pugad Island.

The Spratly chain of islands is contested by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei, which have laid claim on parts of the islands, and by China which claims the entire Spratlys.

Pama and his Vietnamese counterpart also discussed the possible establishment of a communication hotline between the operations center of the Philippine Navy and the Vietnam People's Navy covering common areas of naval operations, especially for search and rescue.

"This includes the proposed conduct of joint maritime patrols in these common maritime domains," the Navy said.

The Vietnam navy chief thanked the Philippine Navy delegation for the recent rescue of 12 Vietnamese fishermen who were found in distress by the Philippine Navy, and another nine fishermen rescued by the Philippine Coast Guard.

Vietnam offered to host Navy-to-Navy talks in the last quarter of this year.

Naval officials from the Philippines and Vietnam also discussed sharing of shipbuilding expertise as Philippine Navy officials were given a tour of Naval Shipyard X46 of the Hai Long Shipbuilding Company.

Navy-to-Navy

The shipyard is "equipped with state of the art shipbuilding and repair yard facilities with the capability to build various kinds of warships and high speed vessels up to 500 tons displacement."

Pama proposed sending Philippine Navy personnel to train at X46. Pama was joined by Commodore Joseph Rustom Pena, commander of Naval Forces West stationed in Palawan, and Captain Danilo Rodelas, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for plans (N5).

The naval officials also visited Thailand from March 14 to 17.

They called on the Thai Ministry of Defence, the Royal Thai Navy and the Royal Thai Armed Forces.

They held exploratory talks on wide avenues of cooperation with proposals of a possible joint exercise and ship visit by the Thai Navy to the Philippines.

The Philippine Navy officials also visited the Sattahip Naval Base, headquarters of the Royal Thai Navy.

Major General Rustico Guerrero, commandant of Philippine Marine Corps, joined the delegation during the Thai visit.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philips Gold finally shines

    Philips Gold made 11 service aces on its way to beating Mane ‘N Tail, 25-19, 27-25, 25-16, for its first victory in the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) All-Filipino Coinference Monday night at The Arena in San Juan.Former College of St. Benilde standout Rossan Fajardo had six aces as part of her 10-point output as the Lady Slammers finally barged into the win column after losing their first two matches.Ex-National University star Myla Pablo led Philips Gold with 14 points highlighted by 12 kills, …

  • Turkish Airlines starts direct Manila-Istanbul flights 3 times a week

    Turkish Airlines, Turkey’s flag carrier, launched on March 30 its thrice weekly direct, non-stop flights between Istanbul and Manila at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 and plans to operate a daily service between the two cities, eventually, announced Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmustur. Last November 2014, the Philippines and Turkey signed an expanded air services agreement granting Turkish carriers three frequencies per week to Manila and Clark. In accordance with …

  • Azkals bow to Bahrain

    The Philippine Azkals fell short in their bid to salvage a draw and fell 2-1 to Bahrain Monday night in an international friendly match at the Bahrain National Stadium in Manama. Faouzi Mubarak struck the opening goal for the home side in the 29th minute before Abdulla Yaser doubled the lead two minutes later with a booming shot from 25 yards out. Fil-German midfielder Manny Ott gave the Azkals a ray of hope when he scored from just outside the box in the 61st. National team Coach Thomas …

  • Alcalas dominate rivals

    In a brilliant show of power and speed, Mark Alcala downed fierce rival and Philippine team member Ross Leonard Pedroza, 21-16, 23-21, to win the men’s singles open title. Alcala lost her No. 1 ranking after focusing on her studies at the University of the Philippines, but she’s willing to sacrifice once again in order to represent the country in future international tournaments. …

  • Girl, grandma hurt in land mine blast

    A 12-year-old girl, who was on her way to her graduation, was wounded together with her grandmother after they were hit by a landmine blast planted near their family’s residence at Sitio Totoy, Barangay San Jose, Monkayo town, Compostela Valley (ComVal) province. Lt. Vergel U. Lacambra, chief of the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the Army’s 10th Infantry (Agila) Division (10th ID), reported that Marcelyn Domicillo and her 58-year-old grandmother Rosallia Andaya were taken to a hospital in …

  • Army paddlers outlast Navy

    Army began where it left off the previous year, turning back arch rival Navy to rule the men’s 300-meter standard race in the opening leg of the 2015 Cobra Energy Drink-PDBF Dragon Boat Regatta held over the weekend at the Manila Bay.Overall champions the past season, the Army paddlers made their move in the last 100 meters to emerge clear winners in one minute and 7.67 seconds of the event sponsored by the country’s leading energy drink, Cobra, and organized by the Philippine Dragon Boat …

  • Awareness: April Fool’s Day

    On April 1, be wary of people who may borrow money or play practical jokes on you. It’s April Fool’s Day! While believed to be of Western origin, April Fool’s Day is observed in many countries of the world, including the Philippines. April Fool’s Day is that day of the year when people take the opportunity to fool around a bit by playing practical jokes on the gullible. …

  • All-out peace, says PNoy

    President Aquino reiterates that the best option for the government is all-out peace, not all-out war. *** Likewise, the Philippine National Police (PNP) calls for a peaceful and orderly observance of the Holy Week nationwide, as hundreds of thousands of people go on an exodus to major tourist spots and the provinces. A blessed Holy Week! *** The President dismisses calls for an all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the Masasapano tragedy and instead will …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options