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Senator Marcos urges government: Strengthen ‘defense posture’

Call made after senator’s claim of possible Chinese hypersonic missile attack targets in PH

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | July 10,2024 - 01:00 PM

Senator Marcos urges gov’t: Strengthen ‘defense posture’

Sen. Imee R. Marcos (Office of Sen. Marcos/Senate PRIB)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — After she warned that 25 areas in the country could be targets of a possible Chinese hypersonic missile attack, Senator Imee Marcos clarified that China will not attack for no reason at all.

“Alam natin na ang China, hindi talaga a-atake sa Pilipinas. Pero kapag nagka-aksidente o nagkabulilyaso sa gitna ng dagat, ‘yan ang kinatatakutan ko, na tuloy-tuloy ang karahasan at baka sumiklab nang tuluyang (ang) putukan,” Marcos said.

(We know that China, it will not really attack the Philippines. But when there will be an accident or a mistake in the middle of the sea, that is what I am worried about, that the violence will continue and escalate further into fighting.)

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The senator said this in a press conference in Mandaue City on Monday, July 8. She was here to attend several national events in Cebu which included the National Schools Press Conference in Carcar City, National Festival of Talents in Naga City, and the Palarong Pambansa in Cebu City.

Senator Marcos: Possible missile attack targets

Marcos said that the possible Chinese hypersonic missile attack would be due to the increase in Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) sites and the brewing tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

“Naririnig naman natin sa US Intelligence ‘yan. Maraming mang balita at kung binabasa natin o nakikinig tayo sa mga dating heneral sa US, sa intel community, marami talaga silang sinasabi tungkol dyan,” she said.

(We have heard that from the US Intelligence. There are many news reports about that and when we read o hear from them from a former general of the US, from the intel community, they have really much to say about that.)

“Yan ang kinatatakutan ko kasi alam naman natin violence escalates particularly in the high sea, in the dark, in these circumstances that are so dangerous. My fear is the last Ayungin supply mission already resulted in some injury. Baka mabulilyaso ang susunod, nakakatakot naman,” she added.

(That is what I am really worried about because we know that the violence will escalate particularly in the high sea, in the dark, in these circumstances that are so dangerous. My fear is the last Ayungin supply mission already resulted in some injury. What if there is another mistake in the next one, that is really scary.)

Earlier, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Col. Francel Margareth Padilla, said that they would be “ready to coordinate” with Marcos “to obtain details and take appropriate actions to ensure our nation’s security.”

To be ‘self-reliant’

When asked if she has already coordinated with the AFP or if she is ready to coordinate with them in a dialogue, Marcos did not address the concern directly.

Instead, she told the reporters that what confused her was the claim of other concerned agencies in this matter.

“Well, ito nga nakakalito daw ang Pilipino sabi ng iba pagkat yung DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) may bilateral talks with China pero ang liwa-liwanag ng DND (Department of National Defense) na sinasabi wag nang makipag-usap because according to Secretary [Gilbert] Teodoro, they never manifested even a modicum of good faith. They’re in bad faith and it’s not worth talking to them. That doesn’t seem to be the opinion of the Coast Guard,” she said.

(Well, you know what, others say that the Filipinos are quite confusing because the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) have bilateral talks wit China but the DND (Department of Defense) clearly states not to talk with them because according to Secretary [Gilbert] Teodoro, they never manifested even a modicum of good faith. They’re in bad faith, and it’s not worth talking to them. That doesn’t seem to be the opinion of the Coast Guard.)

She added that everyone in the administration should listen to the President “who has time and again said that we should have close and constant contact with all the friendly nations at all levels of government.”

“Sana ganoon tayo, mahinahon na makipag-usap at puspusan makipag-usap kasi hindi naman natin kaya o gusto magka-giyera or magkaguluhan at all cost. We should have peace,” she said.

(We hope that we are like that, calm, sincere and committed to talk or negotiate because we cannot really afford or like to have war or trouble at all cost. We should have peace.)

Senator Marcos on defense posture

The senator added that at the end of the day, no matter how many allies the Philippines has, “it will be Filipinos defending the Philippines,” emphasizing that the allies also have their limitations.

“Ang pinakaimportante unang-una magpalakas tayo. Importante maging self-reliant ang ating defense posture,” Marcos said.

(The most important thing to do is to make ourselves stronger. It is important that we will become self-reliant in our defense posture.)

The National Security Council (NSC) already clarified last week that the Philippines does not face an “imminent attack” from China.

“The PH (Philippines) and PRC (People’s Republic of China) maintain cordial relations and are committed to managing whatever differences there may be. Thus, we see no threat of any imminent attack from the PRC,” NSC spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement. | with reports from John Eric Mendoza, Inquirer.net

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TAGS: China, defense posture, Philippines, Senator Imee Marcos

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