A new “Area Task Force North” on the West Philippine Sea has been immediately formed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom).

The Task Force North specifically composed of an elite team of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and other agencies involved in dealing with the impacts of the maritime dispute.

The objective is to guard and protect the waters of Bataan, Zambales, including the Scarborough shoal, the Benham Rise east of Aurora and the assertion of the country’s maritime rights in the sea waters of the West to Northeast region.

The NOLCOM Chief, Lt. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo said on Friday that the task force would synchronize the efforts of various agencies in asserting maritime rights. That is if the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration rules in favor of the Philippines in its maritime case against China.

Tanalgo explained that the military stayed prepared to shield and defend any Filipino against any outside attackers. – Jason E.