President Rodrigo Duterte (MNS Photo)

MANILA, May 30 (Mabuhay) — For the past six years, the Duterte administration has secured the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as its vast maritime borders, through the acquisition of new equipment and patrols, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday.

In his presentation at the Duterte Legacy Summit, Lorenzana said 6,958 naval surface and 6,432 maritime air patrols were held to assert the country’s sovereignty.

“Tayo ay aktibong sinisiguro ng ating territorial integrity at sovereignty sa pamamagitan ng mga detection, identification, at interdiction efforts. Nagsagawa tayo ng mga naval surface patrols at maritime air patrols (We are actively securing our territorial integrity and sovereignty through our detection, identification, and interdiction efforts. We also have conducted naval surface patrols and maritime air patrols,” Lorenzana said at the two-day summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The summit promotes the landmark programs and achievements of the Duterte administration.

Some Cabinet officials will present to the public their accomplishments, policies, and projects that improved the lives of Filipinos over the past six years.

It will also feature key campaign promises of the Duterte administration that were realized such as the Universal Health Care Law and Malasakit Center, Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, Bangsamoro Organic Law, anti-illegal drugs campaign, and migrant workers’ protection.

In his report, Lorenzana said to secure the country’s vast maritime borders, the Philippines signed in 2016 a Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement with Malaysia and Indonesia which resulted in joint naval and air patrols that helped cut down incidents of terrorism and and seaborne criminal activities in the Sulu-Celebes Seas.

The construction of a beaching ramp in Pag-asa Island and the repair of its airstrip were completed, apart from improving structures in Kota, Parola, Panata, Likas, Lawak, and Panguan Islands in the Kalayaan Island Group.

“We also acquired new equipment to strengthen our humanitarian assistance and disaster response (capabilities), air, maritime, and land defense along with joint command-and-control capabilities. This includes air assets, radars, missile systems, and other items which greatly improved the capabilities of our Task Force to the West Philippine Sea,” Lorenzana added.

With the new equipment, Lorenzana said the Philippines was able to respond to violations of its sovereignty and sovereign rights, conduct marine scientific research and aid Filipino fishermen in its maritime territories. (MNS)

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