30 Januari 2013
Descubierta class corvettes, 88.8m in length and displacement of 1.233 tons standard and 1.482 tons full load (photo : Jordi Montoro Andreu)
Spain offers Philippines "Descubierta" corvettes to assert against China
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo de Benito, offered the Executive Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic of the Philippines, Paquito Ochoa, the technology of our customs supervision and corvettes like "Descubierta (=Discovery)", manufactured by Navantia, to reaffirm the sovereignty of its waters off China's claim. Philippines has requested assistance from the Spanish experts to argue its sovereignty over the Bajo de Masinloc (also known as Scarborough Shoal) and other disputed maritime areas.
So says a diplomatic courier rated "reserved" issued on October 26, 2012 by the Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Manuel Domecq, which has had access Diariocritico. In that post, Domecq gives his assessment of his interview in Manila Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo de Benito, with the Executive Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic of the Philippines, Paquito Ochoa.
At one point, the conversation turned to Spanish interests, who want to enter the market for the renewal of the Philippine armed forces. At that point, Gonzalo de Benito advanced introducer made of the advantages of Navantia and Indra to Philippines to defend its maritime space. A De Benito Ambassador Domecq accompanied him, the deputy director general of the Pacific, Southeast Asia and the Philippines, Londaiz White, the Deputy Head of the Embassy, and the advisor of the Office of Secretary of State, José Pascual Manual.
The advantages of SIVE and "Descubierta"
In the beginning of the interview, as related by Ambassador Domecq, De Benito invited President Aquino to travel to Spain this year 2013, "is exclusively or as part of a tour of several European countries." Ochoa was in favor of the idea, but noting that Aquino prioritizes above all the economic substance of his travels, including cooperation on defense, referring to the need to modernize the Philippine armed forces in the context of the problems in the South China Sea.
At that point, Gonzalo de Benito explained the advantages of NAVANTIA as "provider of proven safety and soundness" and Indra, "whose development in the control of airspace in the world will set as an attractive alternative to the control of airspace and sea, with an eye to the dispute of the South Sea of China ". According to the ambassador, De Benito explained that one third of commercial flights in the world is controlled by Indra technology, including the entire German airspace and that of countries such as Bahrain and Qatar.
So, De Benito Ochoa reminded his promise May 2012 meeting with Indra to all departments concerned received a briefing on the SIVE (Sistema Integrado de Vigilancia Exterior) , and "also recalled Navantia supply the corvette type 'Descubierta' for Coast Guard, and was asked to take an interest in it. "
The dispute with China over oil and gas
At that point, the Executive Secretary of Aquino took to refer the dispute referred to the South China Sea ("it is worth noting that the maps hanging on his office and included the recent name change in the Philippines, Philippine Sea now calling West "), and stressed the importance of this issue to Manila, not only for sovereignty in itself, but by the fact that the area known as Recto Bank fund houses in large reserves of petroleum and natural gas.
For Ochoa, there is willingness on both sides (Philippines and China) to normalize the situation, even based on the controversial parking and other aspects (such as self-exploitation of groundwater resources). In this context, the Philippine government had decided for reasons of national security, postpone the start of oil drilling beneath the seabed of Recto Bank to start in October 2012.
But Ochoa also showed great interest in cooperating with Spain on "archival research" in order to have "the best historical and legal backing in defending its sovereignty from Bajo de Masinloc (also known as Scarborough Shoal ) and other maritime zones ", currently in dispute.