Officials: US pledges $144M for Philippine defense

MANILA, Philippines—Washington has pledged to provide $144 million in addition to a warship this year to help bolster the Philippines’ territorial defense, officials said.

The Philippines has turned to the United States, a defense-treaty ally, and other Western countries to acquire warships, fighter jets and radar to strengthen its security amid a long-simmering territorial dispute with China and other countries in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The US has already provided one warship and approved the delivery of a second one this year.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario confirmed the assistance late Wednesday and said he and other officials would visit Washington on April 30 to seek additional aid and discuss joint military exercises.

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