MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has redeployed the Philippine Navy's BRP Andres Bonifacio to the West Philippine Sea after it underwent repairs.
AFP Western Command (WESCOM) chief Vice Adm. Alberto Carlos inspected the ship at the Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangley Point, Cavite City on Monday before the ship vessel set course to its place of assignment.
The ship was previously assigned to conduct patrols in the WPS, which continues to be the subject of a territorial dispute among the Philippines, China, and other Southeast Asian countries.
Wescom spokesperson Maj. Cherry Tindog said the BRP Andres Bonifacio underwent repairs that the military deemed essential in the ship's mission.
Lt. Cdr. Randy Garbo, spokesman of the Navy’s Philippine Fleet, said the ship underwent more than 2 months of repairs.
“Doing so is the only way to sustain our naval presence (in WPS)…The return of [BRP Andres Bonifacio] will definitely strengthen our requirements in the West Philippine Sea,” said Carlos.
BRP Andres Bonifacio was among the 3 former US Coast Guard cutters that were transferred by the United States government to boost the Philippines' maritime defense capability.
It was commissioned in service in 2016.
Its sister ships, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz, were commissioned in the Navy in 2011 and 2013.