The commissioning of the BRP Jose Rizal, the country’s first missile-frigate, marks the start of the Philippine Navy‘s “new era of development and transformation,” President Rodrigo R. Duterte said Friday.
“Today is the beginning of a new era of development and transformation for our Philippine Navy as we witness the commissioning of (the) Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Jose Rizal,” Duterte said in a taped video message flashed on the screen during the handover, christening, commissioning, and blessing of the frigate at the Alava Wharf in Subic Bay, Zambales.
The BRP Jose Rizal, a multi-role frigate built by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries, is capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-surface war, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare operations.
The President expressed optimism that with the BRP Jose Rizal, the Philippine Navy would be more motivated to serve the country.
“I convey my deepest gratitude and appreciation to (the) Philippine Navy for always delivering the highest standard of service to our country and our people,” he said. “I am hopeful that you shall likewise be doubling the passion and commitment you have already manifested in ensuring the peace and progress truly deserved by our country.”
The procurement of the frigate was signed in 2016, along with another frigate, the BRP Antonio Luna that was launched in November 2019.
The BRP Jose Rizal was supposed to be commissioned on June 19 to coincide with the 159th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero.
The commissioning date, however, was moved after one of its crew members tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on a routine check-up.
PRRD in good health
Duterte, 75, was unable to attend the ship’s commissioning due to the pandemic.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reassured the public that Duterte remains in the pink of health.
“Well, like any other 75-year-old, para naman pong nasa 88 (percent) po ang physical health ng ating Presidente (the condition of the President’s physical health is at 88 percent),” he said in an interview with dzBB on Friday when asked to rate Duterte’s health condition.
Duterte is currently in his hometown, Davao City, and remains busy fulfilling his job as the country’s highest elected official, Roque said.
“Doon po siya nag-o-opisina at may mga plano biyahe po pero ‘yun nga po, for security considerations, ako po ay pinagbawalan na sabihin kung ano ‘yung mga schedule na iyan (He’s doing his job while he’s there [in Davao City]. He has planned travels but for security considerations, I am prohibited from disclosing his scheduled activities),” he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency