National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on October 23 that President Rodrigo Duterte has noted the lack of resources for the maritime militia for West Philippine Sea mentioned by Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Bacordo.
“Sabi ni Presidente mukhang hindi natin kaya ‘yan, huwag na natin munang gawin dahil wala pa tayong resources,” Secretary Lorenzana said as quoted by CNN Philippines.
“Alam ninyo mukhang – nabigla rin si Admiral Bacordo noong sinabi niyang mayroon na (budget) pero wala pa talaga,” Secretary Lorenzana said. “There is a plan but nasa isip pa lang namin ‘yung mga militia.”
Vice Admiral Bacordo said earlier this month during Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee C hearing on the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) and attached agencies that “the Navy is developing the capability for the maritime CAFGUs or maritime CAAS, specifically for the Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) and Naval Forces West (NAVFORWEST).”
“Aside from data gathering, they will also be protecting our fishermen as they conduct their business of fishing in our EEZ,” Bacordo said.