Sailors and marines of the Philippine Navy's (PN) Naval Forces West in Palawan prepare to board BRP Benguet, the class tank landing ship that would bring them to a resupply mission in Kalayaan town in the West Philippines Sea. (Photo courtesy of the NFW)

A class tank landing ship of the Philippine Navy (PN) has sailed to the West Philippine Sea (WPS) on a routine mission to resupply food and drinking water for troops stationed on Pag-asa and other islands in Kalayaan municipality.

Naval Forces West (NFW) commander Commodore Sean Anthony Villa confirmed Tuesday in an interview with Palawan News that BRP Benguet (LS507) sailed to the WPS on Sunday, April 28, to carry out the resupply mission after a send-off ceremony at their Oyster Bay Detachment (OBD) pier in Barangay Bahile.

“It is routine provisioning and we’re expecting that there will be no untoward incident in this mission to resupply food and water to our troops who are safeguarding what is ours [in the WPS],” Villa said.

An earlier statement released by the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the NFW said representatives from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Shell Philippines have joined the “NWF Mission Team” to personally check the condition of military forces on the island territories.

Colonel Antonio Mangoroban, deputy commander for marine operations of the NFW and the acting Task Force 41, salutes Commodore Sean Anthony Villa during the send-off ceremony at the Oyster Bay Detachment in Barangay Bahile to exemplify the readiness of the troops for departure to the Kalayaan town, West Philippine Sea. (Photo courtesy of the NFW)

Villa said the send-off ceremony is conducted to honor the members of the mission team and ship crew prior to their departure.

The BRP Benguet (LS507), which is commanded by Lt. Commander Rolando Borromeo, is tasked to safely transport the mission team to Kalayaan.

The press statement said Villa reminded every sailor and marines who attended the ceremony and who will journey to Kalayaan “to be vigilant in carrying out their respective duties and responsibilities as defenders of the country’s Western Frontier.”

“The Western Command (WESCOM) through the NFW continues to perform its mandate of protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country. Thus, it continuously conducts maritime patrols design to protect the maritime domain and to ensure the safety and well-being of marines and sailors stationed in these far-flung detachments,” the statement said.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.