Philippine Navy monitors Taiwan situation

Navy Toribio adaci jr.jpg
Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. (File photo by PN)

The Philippine Navy (PN) is closely watching the situation in Taiwan as China held military drills around the self-ruled island to reportedly test its military's capability to seize power.

"We do not want to speculate but we are, on our end, monitoring the situation," PN Flag Officer in Command Vice Adm. Toribio Adaci Jr. said in a press conference during the 126th PN anniversary in Manila on Friday, May 24.

"Anything that transpires around us should be watched keenly and observed because it may or may not have an effect on us," he added.

According to reports, the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) continued its joint military drills surrounding Taiwan on Friday.

PLA Eastern Theater Command spokesperson was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying that integrated operations inside and outside the island chain are being conducted to test the command's capabilities to jointly take control of battlefield and launch joint strikes, and to seize control of crucial areas.

Taiwan is close to Batanes where Mavulis Island is located and considered as the first line of defense in the northernmost part of the country. 

Mavulis Island is located at approximately 140 kilometers from Taiwan's southern tip.

The Luzon Strait which includes the Balintang and Bashi Channels within the Northern Luzon Command's (NOLCOM) joint operational area is an important factor in maneuvering forces for strategic advantage, and a chokepoint for naval and air traffic.

Earlier this year, Department of National Defense (DND) ordered the beefing up of military forces in the northern part of the country, particularly in Batanes, to ensure the overall safety and territorial integrity of the country.