ILA National Defense

NOVEMBER 2016

In a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders meeting here, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said he had communicated to US Secretary of State John Kerry the assurance of President Duterte that the Philippines would continue its defense cooperation with the United States.

Military cooperation between the US and the Philippines is unchanged for now despite inflammatory statements from the Filipino president directed at US President Barack Obama, a top American commander said Tuesday

MARCH 2019

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said ambiguities in the decades-old Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) will only create confusion or chaos during critical times rather than serve as deterrence, underscoring the need for a review of the treaty.

Although the United States repeatedly gave its assurance to the Philippine government that any armed attack against the Philippines, including on the disputed South China Sea, would trigger its defense pact, the government should still push for a review of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), a political expert said Thursday.

The clash between two of the President’s men heated up on Tuesday, March 5, as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana rejected arguments of Foreign Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr about the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).The clash between two of the President’s men heated up on Tuesday, March 5, as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana rejected arguments of Foreign Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr about the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States is essentially the same as all those made by visiting US presidents, secretaries of state (foreign ministers), and secretaries of defense before him: a renewal of commitment to the MDT on which is based the alliance between the two countries.

DURING his recent visit to the Philippines, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad met Murad Ebrahim, the Filipino Muslim rebel leader who became a regional governor under the Malaysian-brokered peace deal. In the course of the meeting, Mahathir told Murad that “it’s easy to shoot and kill, but it’s difficult to develop. If there is peace, then everything will come.”

In December 2018, Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana declared that he wanted a review of the 1951 Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

APRIL 2019

In front of the United States ambassador and hundreds of American troopers, the Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) renewed its call for the review of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the long-allied countries.

 

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim, Department of National Defense Undersecretary Cardozo M. Luna, and leadership from the U.S. armed forces, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Australian Defence Force (ADF) participated in the opening ceremony yesterday of Balikatan 2019 at Tejeros Hall, Camp Aguinaldo Officers Club

 

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana visited Japan’s Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, April 17. In a statement released on Thursday, the DND said Lorenzana “reaffirmed” the defense department’s “commitment” to the partnership between the countries.

MAY 2019

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the acquisition of two frigates for the Philippine Navy will further boost the country’s ability to defend its territory.

JUNE 2019

Department of National Defense (DND) said President Duterte’s decision to reconsider his earlier order for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to avoid procuring military equipment from the United States will hasten the system and the delivery of much needed US-made equipment.

The Philippines and the Republic of Korea (PH-ROK) 22nd Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) on Logistics and Defense Industry Cooperation was held on June 10 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay, Manila.

JULY 2019

The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America held the Eighth Bilateral Strategic Dialogue from 15 to 16 July 2019 in Manila, Philippines. Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo and Department of National Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano co-led the Philippine delegation. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randy Schriver co-led the U.S. delegation.

A military exercise between the Philippines and the United States that focuses on mutual defense, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief will take place in the country this month.

Fighter and bomber planes launched from reefs that China reportedly equipped with missile systems and military facilities have within their range not just the entire Philippines but nearby countries as well.

At the start of 2019, it looked like the US–Philippines alliance was heading for crisis. Delfin Lorenzana, the normally pro-American Philippine Secretary of National Defense, began calling for a review of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and its application in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. The danger hasn’t completely passed, but it increasingly looks as if the alliance will come out even stronger than before.

A foreign armed attack on Philippine security forces will trigger the United States’ obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty, US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim said on Wednesday.

AUGUST 2019

The Department of National Defense (DND) is asking Congress to approve its proposed P258 billion budget for 2020, which also covers the funds for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

SEPTEMBER 2019

A look at the significance of the move for the wider defense relationship.

Secretary Lorenzana and his delegation attended the Defense and Security Equipment International Exhibition (DSEI 2019) in London from 10-13 September 2019.

The Philippine Navy (PN)’s capabilities to protect the country’s waters and land Marine troops were significantly boosted with the activation of four more amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) and three more multi-purpose attack craft (MPACs).

The capability to launch an attack from the sea straight into land is basic and essential for militaries of coastal states, and the Philippines is now catching up with the acquisition of brand new amphibious assault vehicles

NOVEMBER 2019

The Philippine government should increase its defense spending to at least 2 percent of the country’s growth domestic product (GDP) to increase the readiness of its armed forces and keep up with its neighbors in the region

A patrol boat that aims to aid the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in its anti-terrorism and anti-piracy missions was handed over by the Embassy of Japan to the Philippines.

The Navy chief says they’re figuring out where to get the P28 billion to buy a pair of brand new corvettes, which will be the Philippines’ most powerful warships – if the plan pushes through

The Department of National Defense (DND) will reconsider its position on the co-location agreement between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and China-backed telco Dito Telecommunity, after senators flagged serious cybersecurity concerns they found when they reviewed the deal’s documents

The Philippine Navy and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) on Wednesday, November 14, formalized a plan to build a naval detachment on Fuga Island in Cagayan province, where a Chinese company plans to build a “smart city.”

This as the South Korean-made LIG Nex1 “Blue Shark” lightweight torpedoes, which will serve as the primary weapon of the two Leonardo AW-159 “Wildcat” anti-submarine helicopters acquired by the Navy, are now in the country.

In a boost to its surveillance, firepower, and mobility, the Philippine National Police (PNP) obtained 5 helicopters, a fleet of drones, land vehicles, and a stockpile of firearms worth P3 billion.

Young officers of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) and the Philippine armed forces gathered at an activity in Hanoi on November 18 to share experience and enhance exchange

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday vowed to sustain the modernization program of the Department of National Defense (DND) as he thanked the country’s troops for defending the country against threats

“We have given our grid – although 40% it appears – to a foreign corporation that has interests that collide with our country in the West Philippine Sea,” said Senator Richard Gordon, using the Philippine name for the eastern parts of the South China Sea.

The first of two “multi-mission capable” frigates acquired by the Philippine Navy is set to begin its sea trials on Saturday to ensure that it meets the required standards prior to its delivery to the Philippines.

Indonesia and the Philippines are holding the first joint Maritime Training Activity (MTA) this week involving naval forces to strengthen security measures in shared maritime borders

DECEMBER 2019

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and French Defense Minister Florence Parly recently signed the Letter of Intent on Enhancing Defense Cooperation in the Maritime Domain in Paris.

The Philippines is set to become the first export customer of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile in 2020, according to the country’s Department of National Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

JANUARY 2020

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the administration’s reluctant partner in its appeasement policy on China. The Philippine military has been very wary of closer Philippine-China economic relations in particular, and on the so-called “pivot to China” in general

Chinese fishing vessels continue to stay near Pag-asa (Thitu) Island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The NDS is anchored on two previously released policy/strategy documents under the Duterte administration—2017 National Security Policy (NSP), and 2018 National Security Strategy (NSS). The NSP outlined, in broad strokes, the overall national security objectives of the government. The NSS, on the other hand, categorized the Philippines’ national security interests into “core,” “important,” and “other”.

The Palace on Sunday played down the importance of the country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, saying the military pact was not beneficial to the country, and that its termination would not affect existing treaties with Washington.

FEBRUARY 2020

Senators urged President Rodrigo R. Duterte to reconsider a plan before to end an agreement with the US on the deployment of troops and equipment for war games.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday expressed confidence that the Philippine Navy will achieve more milestones under the leadership of newly-appointed PN flag-officer-in-command, Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will soon have their largest vessels when a Japanese shipbuilder delivers two new multirole response vessels in 2022

The Senate on Tuesday, February 11, split along political lines after the Philippines sent its notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to the United States.

The Philippine Navy (PN) on Tuesday hosted a workshop that precedes the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), a biennial meeting of navies bordering the Pacific region.

MARCH 2020

The United States and the Philippines are crafting a new defense pact that could replace the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that was proposed for withdrawal late last year.