Press Release
February 27, 2018


While the country may be able to trust its allies, Senator Richard J. Gordon has stressed that it would be better if we can trust our own capability to protect ourselves.

Speaking before the members of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) during the PCGA's 46th anniversary, Gordon reiterated the need to build up the capability of the military, especially the Navy and the Coast Guard, to ensure the protection of the country's sovereignty and national territory.

"To be independent and free, we have to help ourselves. Dapat paghandaan ang ating Defense and put more money in Defense. While we may be able to trust our friends, but we must better trust ourselves to protect ourselves," he said.

Gordon pointed out that while the country should not pick a fight with China or any other countries, it should always be prepared for any eventuality at all times.

He explained that with history replete with stories of countries having conflicts with other countries and considering reports that China has built airfields in the disputed Spratly Islands which will enable their planes to be here in fifteen minutes, there is even more need to be prepared.

"It's not safe for us. They have had fights with neighboring countries - with Taiwan in the Paracels. The Vietnamese had fight with the Chinese. The Chinese have had fights with the Indians; Chinese have had fights with other countries. I'm not saying that we should pick a fight; I'm a good friend of China. We cannot always rely on our allies. All I want is utter preparedness at all times because we never know. We should be more imaginative. Maybe it's time to look for alliance here - keep on practicing with China, at the same time keep practicing with perhaps, Japan and Korea, Australia, New Zealand. Singapore and Indonesia," the senator said.

During the anniversary celebration, Gordon, who has the rank of Rear Admiral in the PCGA, was given the following awards for his leadership and voluntary participation in different humanitarian responses during various disasters : PCGA Good Conduct Medal and Ribbon; PCGA Search and Rescue Medal and Ribbon; and PCGA Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Medal and Ribbon.

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