Collision between Chinese sub and US sonar shows RP's vulnerability
The "inadvertent encounter" between a Chinese submarine and an underwater sonar apparatus towed by a United States (U.S.) destroyer last week shows how vulnerable the Philippines is to attacks or invasions pointed out Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) today.
Gordon, vice chairman of the Senate committee on national defense and security, said the incident underscored how weak the country's lack of adequate equipment has rendered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
"D'yan makikita how naked we are. Kulang tayo ng kagamitan at tao sa Navy, sa Air Force, at sa Armed Forces. Wala tayong sonar, wala tayong radar, wala tayong ni ano kaya dinadaan-daanan tayo. Baka pati sa inland waters dinadaan-daanan tayo niyan," he said.
"We should take this incident as a warning that we should strengthen our Armed Forces. We are open to attacks on our territory, especially since the Philippines is an archipelago with many docking areas. Hindi pwedeng puro coast walang guard, puro air walang force," he added.
Reports said a Chinese submarine had a collision Last June 11 with the sonar array connected to the USS John S. McCain 125 nautical miles (144 miles; 232 kilometers) from Subic Bay in the northwestern Philippines, outside the country's territory.
The collision happened while the McCain, which took part in a military exercise in the Philippines and left May 22, was sailing in the South China Sea.
No injuries were reported and the extent of damage to the sonar array, used to remotely detect the presence of submarines, mines and other underwater objects, was not immediately known.
Both China and the US unofficially viewed the incident as an "inadvertent encounter." A Philippine Defense official admitted that the Philippine Navy had to ask fishermen in the area to confirm the report because it has no sonar and its radar was undergoing maintenance when the incident occurred.