Thursday 30 March 2017

US is ready to ‘provide more military equipment’ to the Philippines

Malacañang on Monday said that the United States thru its Ambassador  Sung Kim has conveyed to President Rodrigo Duterte his country’s readiness to provide more military support and training.
BRP Rajah Humabon (FF-11) a former destroyer escort of the United States navy and is now a frigate of the Philippine Navy.It is the last World War II-era destroyer escort/frigate active in its fleet and is one of the oldest active naval warships in the world. (wikipedia/commons)

“The President said that Philippines-US relations at the bilateral level remain strong and there is readiness to discuss more matters of mutual interest with the US,” he said.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said President Duterte and Ambassador Kim agreed that their countries have mutual interests and shared values and that fruitful engagements and discussions are very important “in ensuring that both states are on the same page.”

“His Excellency Sung Kim also assured (President Duterte) that the US understands the security concerns of the Philippines and that the US is ready to provide more military equipment, assistance and training,” he added.

President Duterte  and Ambassador Kim discussed extensive bilateral relations between both countries, including counterterrorism efforts. Over P3.5 billion worth of projects has also been promised by the US in the next couple of years to boost investments in Mindanao, among them a roll-on, roll-off nautical highway that would connect Davao and General Santos to Sulawesi in Indonesia to help Filipino and American companies operating in the region to the increase their exports.
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that the Philippine Navy is eyeing the acquisition of its 4th Hamilton-class cutter with the impending decommissioning of the United States Coast Guard (WHEC-722).If successful, this will be the 4th Hamilton-class cutter in the Philippine Navy Inventory (now known as the Gregorio del Pilar -class frigates)

South China Sea Dispute & Benham Rise

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte should take advantage of this assurance and make headway in acquiring used (but still capable)naval warships as stop gap measures as our territorial waters must be secured. It should be noted during the past administration we were able to acquire three Hamilton-class high endurance cutters from the United States Coast Guard (now known collectively as the Del Pilar-class frigates) and five Balikpapan-class heavy landing crafts from the Royal Australian Navy.

Update : April 21, 2017

Reports from Maxdefense Facebook Page, the  United States Coast Guard (WHEC-722) has been donated by the Unites States government to our ASEAN neighbor- Vietnam. Like the Philippines, Vietnam has an existing dispute with China in the Spratly's located in the South China Sea.
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