- A Japanese cargo vessel went missing 10 nautical miles off the shores of Corregidor.
- Philippines and Japan held joint exercises for search and rescue operations after the PCA ruling
- The joint exercises, aside from the rescue operations, aimed to enhance collaboration and cooperation between the two countries to combat piracy in the area
Philippines and Japan, two countries that share a common ground when it comes to China’s incursion on the West Philippine Sea, held joint exercises in Manila a day after the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) rendered a favorable ruling for the Philippines.
And while it seems that the joint drills were made to convey a unified stand against China, Philippine officials said that the said exercises had nothing to do with the PCA decision as it has already been scheduled even prior to the monumental ruling.
What started the drill was the incident that occurred 10 nautical miles off the Corregidor Island where a Japanese cargo vessel went missing. Upon receiving the report, the Philippine Coast Guard immediately deployed BRP Nueva Vizcaya to conduct search and rescue operations.
A Japanese Coast Guard (JCG) vessel was likewise tapped to help in the said search and rescue operations. Air surveillance was also conducted by the JCG. After some time, the missing Japanese vessel was finally found off the shores of Sangley Point, Cavite.
The initial rejoicing of both Philippines and Japanese Coast Guard was short-lived as armed men were seen on board the cargo vessel. Thankfully, training and efficiency made it possible for the pirates to be subdued.
The said joint exercises aim to enhance cooperation and collaboration between the Philippines and Japan in combating piracy and the existence of lawless elements at sea.
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“Kung sakaling dumating yung time na sa West Philippine Sea may mga law enforcement activities na kailangang gawin sasabihin ko na nakaprepare yung Philippine Coast Guard para sa mga ganoong sitwasyon,” said Cmd. Armard Balilo, Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson.
(In case the time comes that law enforcement activities are needed to be done in the West Philippine Sea, I would say that the Philippine Coast Guard is ready for such situations.) - SD, Kami Media