Russia offers to share intel data with PH
Russia’s top security official on Thursday offered the Philippines access to an intelligence database to help it fight crime and militancy, and training for the elite forces assigned to protect President Rodrigo Duterte.
Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council and Vladimir Putin’s top security adviser, made the offer during a meeting between Russian and Philippine security officials in Davao City, where he was visiting Mr. Duterte.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Russia had invited the Philippines to join a database-sharing system to help combat transnational crime and terrorism, which he said could help track Islamist militants and their financial transactions.
President Duterte and Patrushev also discussed future government-to-government cooperation in these fields, along with plans to work together to combat illegal drugs, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon said.
Agreements to formalize the cooperation are expected to be signed when Mr. Duterte flies to Moscow in May, Esperon said.
“Memorandum of understanding on these fields are being finalized by concerned agencies and are expected to be signed during the planned President’s visit to Moscow,” he said
Patrushev’s trip underlines Russia’s intent to capitalize on a radical recalibration of foreign policy under Mr. Duterte, who harbors resentment of the Philippines’ deep-rooted ties to the United States.
Duterte has made strong overtures towards China and Russia.
Lorenzana said security officials from both sides also discussed law enforcement cooperation, including anti-piracy and anti-narcotics exercises by coastguard and police.
The two countries were working on a military technical cooperation agreement, he said.
“We are keen on signing a defense cooperation agreement,” Lorenzana said.
Lorenzana said last week Russia was interested in selling military equipment like drones, helicopters, rifles and submarines.
Present at the meeting were Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta, Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director General Alex Monteagudo.
The Russian delegation included Ambassador Igor Khovaev, First Deputy Justice Minister Sergey Gerasimov, Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov, Federal Protection Service Deputy Director Viktor Tulupov, Russian Army Commander Oleg Salyukov, Security Council Assistant Secretary Alexander Venediktov, and Russian Coast Guard Frontier Service head Alexey Volskiy. —WITH A REPORT FROM THE WIRES