Philippines, US agree to bring joint security, defense efforts to higher gear


MANILA, Philippines – Citing the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty as the basis for their alliance, the Philippines and the United States have agreed to shift into higher gear their cooperation in maritime security, defense and law enforcement, among other areas, during their second bilateral strategic dialogue, held on January 27 in Washington.

In a joint statement, the two allies reaffirmed their commitment to an “invigorated and expanded alliance capable of addressing 21st century challenges.”

“We reinforced the significance of our Mutual Defense Treaty as the basis for the alliance and the treaty’s continued relevance to the peace, security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. We committed to further enhance cooperation, including in security, defense, commerce, law enforcement, human rights, and disaster relief. We also agreed to deepen and broaden our maritime cooperation,” they noted.

The two sides also “emphasized the importance of deepening bilateral trade and investment ties to increase prosperity for the people in both countries.  The two governments said they reviewed their ongoing collaboration in “the Partnership for Growth and the (US government-run) Millennium Challenge Corporation.”

During the dialogue, the US “recognized the efforts being taken by the Philippine government in resolving human rights cases and discussed positive developments in the prosecution of abuses.”

Manila and Washington “emphasized a mutual commitment to these efforts.”

The allies saw dialogue as “an opportunity to consult and exchange views on a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues, reflecting our common values and interests.”

The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio, Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino (for the Philippines) and Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and Acting Defense Assistant Secretary Peter Lavoy (for the US).

The two sides announced that high-level consultations would continue this March at a joint ministerial meeting between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

They highlighted “upcoming opportunities for further high-level engagements,” including official visits to Manila in February by US Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro and Deputy US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis.

In January 2011, Manila hosted the first bilateral strategic dialogue between the two countries.

Del Rosario called the dialogue a “clear manifestation of both countries’ resolve to enhance relations.”

The meeting aims to “affirm the strength of the Philippine-US alliance and the dynamic partnership for peace, security, stability and prosperity,” the Department of Foreign Affairs chief said.

He added: “With a changing regional and global environment, the Philippines and the US are now looking forward to shifting the partnership into higher gear at a time when our ties have become broad-based, modern, mature and resilient.”

US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. said that “through this dialogue, our two governments will affirm our commitment to our longstanding alliance and to continuing our work as equal partners, discuss current challenges and identify new areas for cooperation.”

Kurt Campbell, US Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said the summits aimed to “provide both sides opportunities to work together to strengthen regional institutions, define our shared agendas and set a course for a future of mutual support and cooperation.”

Campbell disclosed that during a meeting with then Armed Forces chief of staff, Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr., both “agreed that the issue of the South China Sea is one that is best addressed through multilateral mechanisms and peaceful dialogues.”

In a related development, the militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) assailed on Sunday the port calls in Manila and Cebu of two US warships, saying they were “already part of the heightened US power projection in Asia, as stated in the new US defense strategy.”

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said “even without a formal basing agreement, the US uses access agreements and training exercises so that at any time the US has forces in our country.”

“The US may not even need formal bases given the access and virtual basing opportunities they have now,” Reyes said, adding the Aquino administration’s foreign policy is “certainly no better than the Arroyo administration’s.”

The destroyers USS Wayne Meyer and USS Chafee were scheduled to arrive yesterday (Jan. 29) in Manila and Cebu City, respectively.

The DFA has repeatedly said the Philippine port calls by American warships for routine replenishment, maintenance of shipboard systems and crew liberty, are covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement between Manila and Washington.

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  • Marco Santino

    Rodney, a tsinoy pro chinese rat hiding in his room. a lot of info huh! sadly not all of them are true most are fabricated history/document coming fron the reds. awwww!

  • Anonymous

    tangible and effective military assets must be included in whatever military assistance to patrol the area. Usa’s objective is about the shipping lanes, while Phil’s is about the islands..and they even said they’re not party to any of our claims…but china is all over already…what if they got their shipping lanes and we lost our islands?  

  • betweenthelines

    Put the Americans on an uninhabited or VERY sparsely inhabited island closest to the West PH Sea, furthest away from any municipalities, and deny them access to these in order to prevent prostitution. There are 7,107 islands, I’m sure there’s one that can be rented out.

    • Anonymous

      Ha…ha…ha…prostitution in the Philippines has been around since the stone age. It’s not called “the oldest profession” for nothing. Prostitution is alive and well in the Philippines, and other countries, whether or not American military personnel are present. If the USS Wayne Meyer and USS Chafee pull in port, let us extend the world renown Filipino hospitality. The officers and crew of these ships are our guests and they should not see the “ugly side” of our personality.

  • Anonymous

    This Rodney is an excellent fiction writer and good communist propagandist.  It was Japan that first attack the United States.  Japanese air force attack the United States Naval Base in Pearl Harbor on Dec.7,1941.  The Japanese sneaked attacked on Pearl Harbor happened while their ambassador was still in Washington talking peace with U.S officials..Some top Japanese generals like Yamamoto did’nt like to to war with the U.S. but as soldiers they have to obey the order of their superiors.  Also, it was Germany who declared war with the United States.  Britain even tried to appeased Hitler so it won’t attacked any European country,but Hitler attacked Poland in 1939,then France ,Belgium,. The United States decided to get involved in the war when Germany started to Attacked Britain. It was Hitlers ambition to rule the world is the reason he started the war.

  • Anonymous

    Port calls by US Navy ships for routine replenishment, maintenance of shipboard systems and crew liberty means hard cash revenue for local merchants and suppliers. Not to mention the usual goodwill services that the officers and crew extend to local schools, orphanage, etc. I’m proud to be a Filipino and equally proud to have served my adopted country for 26 years in the United States Navy.

  • Anonymous

    Rodney,if it is true that United States printed money,this could be their counter measure for China’s refusal to float the value of its currency. 

  • Kilim Leyte

    I agree with Faith Diao:
    The Philippines fastest growing trade activites with the rest of the world is with China. The U.S. is still number one but not for long.If China sanctions the Philippines, it will be thousands if not millions of Philippine jobs lost.Expect Chinese harrassment to escalate…not in the Spratlys but in Freedom and Victoria Parks in Hongkong (favorite gathering places of thousands of Filipino maids on weekends.)Pnoy can mitigate this. Why is he not frequenting Beijing?Again, Washington plays different sides of this game and they will lose more if China retaliates than that of helping the Philippines. When push come to shove Washington will reign in Manila to appease China to avoid a full blown trade war.Again, Pnoy should go to Beijing not only once but every month. This is what Lee Kwan Yew did (his book “From Third World to First”) even while studying at Harvard on leave as Prime Minister.China’s thuggery need not be responded with the same by the Philippines. Filipinos should be beyond that by now…more sophistication is called for.I subscribe to the Godfather’s advice to Michael (Corleone): “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”.

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