PHL has ‘worst case’ scenario plans for Woody Island row


FORT DEL PILAR, BAGUIO CITY – Western Command Chief Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez said on Saturday the Philippines has already incorporated plans for the “worst case scenario” in connection with China’s decision to install surface-to-air missiles in the disputed Woody Island of the Paracels Group.

This was disclosed by Lopez in an interview with journalists during the annual PMA Alumni Homecoming held at Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City.

“Basically there will be no adjustment [in security preparations] as we have designed the plans to be vigilant, and how we are going to be updated [about possible incidents in the West Philippine Sea].

“We are not expecting anything drastic to happen, of course, but that’s how we plan, we plan for the worst. That’s how the military plans, so we take into consideration the worst case scenario,” he added.

Satellite imagery and US intelligence reports have earlier confirmed Taiwanese claims that China has deployed surface-to-air missile batteries in Woody Island, which is also being claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.

The island is in excess of 200 nautical miles away from Kalayaan Island.

Lopez also said the Chinese decision to install the offensive weapons had the effect of militarizing the region.

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