Ph Navy Frigate’s Port Klang Visit Highlights Ph-Malaysia Partnership

2 April 2017 – The serene waters off Port Klang became more alive with music, good cheers and camaraderie Friday night as a visiting Philippine Navy frigate hosted a reception for members of the diplomatic and defense attaché corps, Wisma Putra officials, leading businessmen and the members and friends of the Filipino-Malaysian community.

Skippered by Captain Brendo Casaclang, the frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio, with its 88-person complement, was welcomed by Malaysian Armed Forces chief of staff Lt. General Dato' Abdul Halim bin Hj Jalal, the event's guest of honor.

In a message before some 300 guests and crew members, Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya said that the frigate's goodwill visit "highlights the deepening partnership between the Philippine and Malaysian governments and their respective armed forces, including in addressing issues of common concern such as extremism and transnational crimes."

Malaya, who concluded last weekend his five-and-a-half years diplomatic assignment in Kuala Lumpur, noted that with the relentless law enforcement operations conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the Abu Sayyaf group and their affiliates in Sulu and Basilan and the enhanced intelligence-sharing and coordinated patrols in the Sulu Seas between the Philippine and Malaysian sides, there has been no kidnapping in Sabah waters since November last year, and the last remaining Malaysians in the hands of lawless elements have been safely recovered.

Ambassador Malaya also cited the heightened interest of Malaysian companies in investment opportunities in the fast growing PH economy and the increasing number of PH companies doing business in Malaysia, led by Petron Corporation, PLDT and Pancake House.

The port call and reception at Port Klang capped BRP Andres Bonifacio's Malaysian voyage, which included participation in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition '17, and port call and maritime exercises at the Royal Malaysian Naval base in Lumut, Perak.

In his remarks during the program, Commodore Albert A. Mogol, the head of the visiting mission and Commander of the Philippine Navy's Fleet Marine Ready Force, described the visit as a manifestation of the Philippine Navy's "commitment to promote harmonious relations between and among countries."

The event featured performances by the Philippine Marine Corps band and Kuala Lumpur-based Filipino performers Gina Panizales and Jennifer Alferez who made the night more fun with lively repertoire of Filipino and Malaysian songs, jazz standards and dance music. Miss Panizales sang P. Ramlee's Getawan Jiwa and the upbeat "Isang mundo, isang awit" (One world, one song), while Ms. Alferez, a PH embassy staff member, did Breathless and Dancing Queen.

BRP Andres Bonifacio is the third Gregorio del Pilar-class frigate to be commissioned by the Philippine Navy. She is named after Andrés Bonifacio, a Filipino revolutionary leader who is regarded as the "Father of the Philippine Revolution" and a pre-eminent national hero of the Philippines.

The frigate is expected to return to home shores on April 6, after leaving Manila on March 14. END