PRRD hopes BRP Antonio Luna crew to show ‘bravery, patriotism’

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte expressed hope on Friday that the Philippine Navy would be more inspired to demonstrate bravery and patriotism now that it has its second guided-missile frigate named BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151).

Duterte gave his message during the christening and commissioning of BRP Antonio Luna at Pier 13 in South Harbor, Manila.

“Today, we reaffirm the strong commitment of the transformation, modernization, innovation, and pursuit of high standards in our naval service. May General Antonio Luna’s bravery and patriotism inspire the officers and crew of this new ship as you prepare for your future sails,” Duterte said in a taped video message.

BRP Antonio Luna finished its quarantine at Subic Bay in Zambales after arriving from Ulsan, South Korea on February 9.

The warship was named after Antonio Luna, a Filipino army general who fought during the Philippine-American war.

BRP Antonio Luna has a maiden crew of 101 officers and sailors and is commanded by Capt. Charles Merric Villanueva.

The country’s first missile-capable frigate, BRP Rizal, was commissioned on July 10 last year.

The two modern frigates were manufactured by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries.

The contract for the BRP Jose Rizal and the BRP Antonio Luna, which is part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) modernization program, was placed at PHP16 billion, with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions.

Duterte was optimistic that the implementation of the AFP modernization program would motivate the military to maintain peace and order in the country.

“We welcome a more promising milestone, modernization program with a fervent hope for greater national peace and program,” he said. (PNA)