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SND leads the launching of BRP Miguel Malvar in South Korea

By: Victor Baldemor Ruiz

June 20, 2024 (Ulsan, South Korea) – The first of the two vessels under the Philippine Navy’s (PN) Corvette Acquisition Program was launched in a ceremony on June 18, led by Secretary of National Defense (SND) Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr., together with senior officials from the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

BRP Miguel Malvar (FF06), the first of two corvettes to be supplied by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) of South Korea, was named after a Philippine revolutionary general and hero. Mrs. Monica Louise Prieto-Teodoro, special envoy to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), led the ceremonial launching of the ship. Mr. Lee Sang Kyun, CEO of HHI, was also in attendance, underscoring the collaborative effort between the two nations.

In his speech, Secretary Teodoro emphasized the DND’s commitment to partnering with companies from countries that align strategically with the Philippines, such as the Republic of South Korea. He highlighted the proven quality and reliability of South Korean products and noted that future acquisitions would adhere to the Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept. Key considerations for these acquisitions include supply chain reliability, redundancy, corporate good governance, and the overall value for money. The Defense Secretary stressed that the acquired capabilities must significantly contribute to establishing a credible deterrent posture for the Philippines.

Moreover, Secretary Teodoro expressed his desire to instill the Korean value of “Indomitable Spirit” or “bulguleui jeongsin” (??? ??) within the AFP. This value, characterized by standing up for what is right and showing unwavering resilience, has been pivotal in the progress and prosperity of South Korea. He believes it can similarly inspire the Philippines to reach its full potential.

The SND also extended his gratitude to the Republic of Korea for its steadfast support of the Philippine position in the West Philippine Sea, particularly in opposing unilateral aggression and illegal actions by the People’s Republic of China.

The event underscored the DND and AFP’s commitment to fostering cooperation with the Korean government to ensure principled peace in the Indo-Pacific region. It also highlighted the strategic framework of collaboration and capability-building between the two countries.

Secretary Teodoro was accompanied by Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Reserve Affairs Pablo M. Lorenzo, and Undersecretary for Acquisition and Resource Management Salvador Melchor B. Mison, Jr. from the DND. Also present during the ceremony was the AFP Chief of Staff Gen Romeo S Brawner Jr., PN Flag-Officer-in-Command VADM Toribio D Adaci, and the Commander of Offshore Combat Force Commo Edward Ike M De Sagon.

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