Monday, August 31, 2015

WESCOM baks youth movement’s plan to do patriotic voyage in West Philippines Sea

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 31): WESCOM baks youth movement’s plan to do patriotic voyage in West Philippines Sea

The Western Command (WESCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) here supports any activity that aims to raise the awareness of Filipinos about the West Philippines Sea.

This is according to WESCOM Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, who was interviewed by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) regarding plans of the “Kalayaan Atin Ito Movement!” (KAIM) to bring young people to the disputed region for a month-long patriotic voyage sometime soon.

Lopez said any advocacy to raise people’s awareness about the contested region is welcome as long as they are coordinated properly with the right agencies.

Asked if the WESCOM is bound to support the plan, the highest ranking military official in Palawan said there was nothing wrong since the goal was to raise the awareness of the youth regarding the Philippine-claimed area so they might also pass on what they knew to others.

Praising the movement’s plan, Lopez however, said it could only happen if appropriate consents were requested from government institutions and authorities that and who had command of the current situation in the chain of islands.

“Nakakatuwa kasi sa pamamagitan ng kanilang ginagawang aktibidad ay marami na ang nakakaalam at concerned sa isyu ng West Philippines Sea. Pagdating naman sa plano nilang pagbisita sa mga isla sa Kalayaan, kailangan dumaan muna ito sa pag-uusap para sa ibibigay na assistance ng mga sundalo para sa kanilang magiging seguridad (It is nice because what they are doing is an activity that enriches knowledge and concern about issues regarding the West Philippines Sea. On their plan to visit the islands in Kalayaan, they should undergo talks and coordination for assistance to be given to them for their safety and security),” Lopez said.

The KAIM was organized with an aim to basically increase the awareness of the youth regarding the disputed region.

Lopez said that many young people were unaware about the West Philippines Sea and why was the country opting to diplomatically resolve issues that currently concern it.

Early in August, the movement staged a summit in Puerto Princesa that was attended by 10,000 students from all colleges and universities in Palawan at the city coliseum with a goal to show “unity” for the West Philippines Sea to the international community.

Palawan is only one of the 82 other provinces that the movement plans to visit for information dissemination regarding the contested region. From each province, 30 volunteers will be recruited to join the patriotic voyage.

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