By Priam F. Nepomuceno
MANILA, Nov. 22 (PNA) — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sees nothing wrong with the plan of retired Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon to sail to the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) with at least 10,000 youth volunteers by Nov. 30.
AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla said that the proposed caravan titled “Kalayaan Atin Ito” only shows patriotic fervor of the volunteers who have decided to join the former Marine officer.
He also said that the sailing has no implication on the ongoing territorial dispute between the country and China over some features of the West Philippine Sea.
“Demonstration of patriotism is not prohibited, we are thankful that some our citizenry are showing their patriotic fervor and civic-mindedness. It goes to show that a lot of our youth are still concerned with events ongoing in the country,” Padilla said in Filipino.
“And publicly, we are telling them, (that) we are proud of your expression of your patriotic fervor, and we are glad we have so many youth who are like this, so morally we support them,” he added.
But the AFP spokesperson said that he is unaware on whether the military has any commitment to help the group in their voyage.
As this develops, Department of National Defense public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong said that they are still to receive any communication from Faeldon’s group regarding its intentions.
“We have heard about the group’s intention but we have not received any communication from them. Filipinos can travel to islands within our territory for as long as they follow safety regulations and observe proper procedures in terms of coordinating with the concerned authorities and local governments,” he added. (PNA)