(PN file photo)

The best way to maintain Philippines presence and rightful claims in the West Philippines Sea is by occupying geographical territories and vigorously enforcing maritime patrols in the Exclusive Economic Zone, a retired Philippine naval officer said recently.

Retired Philippine Navy (PN) Commander Leysander Ordenes said in a recently-concluded forum organized by the National Youth Movement for the West Philippines Sea, that “because of these positive actions, we also ensure the safety, security and well-being of our Filipino fishermen and merchant ships.”

The forum came a week after the violent incident on June 17 wherein the China Coast Guard blocked a Philippines rotation and resupply mission to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre grounded on Ayungin Shoal.

Maverick Paul Bersalona, NYMWPS national chairperson, supported Ordenes call for resolve on the escalating incidents in the West Philippines Sea, “rather than glorifying the Filipino resilience.”

“We call on our government leaders to act on this matter speedily with deep discernment, for the welfare of our troops, fishermen and communities in our West Philippines Sea,” added Bersalona, also the director for internal affairs and membership for youth sector.

Ordenes was the Director for Operations of the Naval Forces West for Human and Material Assets,environmental science educator of Frost Valley YMCA at Catskills, New York, USA and professor in Marine Science at Catalina Island, California, USA.