Two Philippine Navy (PN) ships currently docked at Port Sultan Qaboos here were accorded a visit by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. earlier today, underscoring the AFP’s crucial role in the interagency efforts to repatriate Filipinos affected by tensions in the Middle East.
Addressing the troops onboard, Secretary Locsin expressed his appreciation of the “fact that the Armed Forces of the Philippines heeded the call to send two Navy ships to Muscat to assist our fellow Filipinos in the event of a mass repatriation in the region”. This mission is part of the AFP Joint Task Force “Pagpauli” headed by the Vice Chief of Staff, Vice Adm. Gaudencio Collado, Jr. who is also in Oman now to personally oversee the situations here.
The secretary went on recognizing the goodwill of “Omani Government for opening Muscat and allowing our two ships to have a temporary home in the region” which is “a testament of the Philippines-Oman relations”.
While awaiting orders from Manila on the specifics of repatriation, the Naval Task Force 82 contingent, along with Vice Admiral Collado and his party, has made a worthwhile stay here fostering patriotism by engaging the Filipino community in two-day open ships tour and visit in Philippine School Sultanate of Oman, as well as promoting naval diplomacy through the courtesy call to the Royal Navy of Oman chief, Rear Adm. Abdullah Bin Khasim Al Raisi.
As Secretary Locsin concluded his remarks saying he “can only go as far as the Armed Forces can go”, this mission is so far the farthest voyage that the PN has ever covered, and in all likelihood, the longest mission it can sustain, which both manifest an advancing and transforming navy. NAVY.MIL.PH