In view of the success of the Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) recently completed by the US Navy, certain sectors are now pressuring Malacanang to authorize the conduct of our own FONOPs.
And my response is: With what?
With the two (2) Hamiltons pictured above?
The success of the FONOP performed by the USS Lassen was primarily due to Overwhelming Firepower - something which our country clearly does not have. The USS Lassen, by its lonesome, packs more firepower than the entire Philippine Navy!
I'm sure Beijing is now seething with rage at the humiliation it recently suffered in the hands of the US Navy. Logically, therefore, she will be looking for some kind of payback to redeem her honor. Let us not provide her the opportunity by sending our severely outgunned Navymen in harm's way,
Besides, the UNCLOS case we filed is now progressing in our favor. Any military adventurism on our part will just erode the moral high ground we have carefully nurtured in the course of our on-going disputes with China.
Of course, if we are requested to participate in a FONOP led by the US Navy, that is a totally different ballgame.
The response I would personally recommend to Malacanang would be: Yes!