DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the visit of Chinese warships mark a good start of the opening of channels of communication between the Chinese and Philippine navy.
During the interview after the opening ceremony of the goodwill visit of Chinese Naval Army Warships, Duterte-Carpio said the visit is a step toward better cooperation between countries, which are both involved in the West Philippine Sea dispute.
“Alam mo ina-acknowledge namin ang problema sa West Philippine Sea (WPS) pero this is a good start of the opening of channels of communication between Chinese Navy and Philippine Navy so maybe they can sit down and talk with each other so alam nila anong gawin at magkakaintindihan sila," she said.
Duterte-Carpio was one of the key speakers during the opening ceremony of the good will visit of three vessels from China People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Task Group from April 30 to May 2, 2017.
She also said that all peace loving nations like China are welcome in Davao City.
“Gustong makipagkaibigan ang Davao City, so welcome sila,” she said.
Duterte-Carpio also added that the officials from Chinese Navy expressed that they chose Davao City as an area of the visit since it is the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Maybe sa tingin nila, much more receptive ang Davao City sa offer na ipakita ang ships,” she said.
Duterte-Carpio said that people are all excited to see the warships, which are equipped with missiles and torpedoes.
She also said she wants the Philippines to have the same equipment.
“Nakakaingit, especially kasi na-explain nila sa atin ang kakayahan ng ship. Sana sa term ni President Rodrigo Duterte magkaroon ng kahit dalawa ang Philippines," she said.
Guided missile destroyer Chang Chun (DDG150), guided missile frigate Jin Zhou (FFG532), and type 903 replenishment Chao Hu (890) are among the three vessels of the East Sea Fleet of PLA headed by its Deputy Commander, Rear Admiral Shen Hao.
The three-day visit will include series of confidence-building engagements between Philippine Navy and PLA which include courtesy call with the Commander of Naval Forces in Eastern Mindanao, Captain Ramil Roberto Enriquez PN (GSC).
Goodwill games, shipboard tour to the invited guests, city tour in Davao city, reciprocal receptions and send off ceremony were also scheduled.
The goodwill visit is China’s first for this year and the first since 2010.
According to the Headquarters of Naval Forces in Eastern Mindanao, the visit was aimed at expanding communication, promoting cooperation and improving friendship of both armies promoting camaraderie and mutual understanding of the two navies through naval diplomacy.