MANILA – The BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF17) returned to the Philippines on Saturday (October 28) after a month-long sojourn to ASEAN neighbors Brunei and Malaysia, where the Philippine Navy participated in a joint maritime training with their counterparts as part of the united effort of ASEAN countries to better secure waters of Southeast Asia.
The BRP Andres Bonifacio, under the helm of Captain Dennis Rommel G Quines, arrived at Pier 13, South Harbor, Manila, with Rear Admiral Gaudencio A Collado, Commander of the Philippine Fleet, welcoming the 200-person contingent – the ship’s crew, medical team, students, and training staff, and a team from the Naval Special Operations Group and Naval Air Group.
Other senior officers, families, and friends of the contingent were also there to witness the event.
The FF17 departed September, and first conducted four-day goodwill visit at Maura, Brunei Darussalam and participated in the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
This was followed by the Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia-Philippines (MALPHI) LAUT 20-17 with the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) at Region I, Kuantan Naval Base from October 16 to 25, where the Philippine and Malaysian forces tested their interoperability in enforcing maritime security and fighting transnational crime.
The (MALPHI) LAUT 20-17 is the 20th iteration of an annual training exercise between the Southeast Asian countries since they signed a memorandum of defense cooperation in 1994.
Commodore Albert Mogol, commander of the Fleet-Marine Ready Force, said in his message welcoming back the FF17 crew that the bilateral naval exercise is concrete proof of the excellent relations between the two navies.