US Secretary of the Navy meets with PH defense, military officials

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Ray Mabus is the 75th United States Secretary of the Navy. Photo from http://www.navy.mil/

MANILA, Philippines – US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus met with top defense and military officials at Camp Aguinaldo Tuesday as part of his three-day official visit to the Philippines.

Mabus will discuss bilateral and multilateral security issues and efforts, maritime security, counter-terrorism efforts, and regional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts with Filipino officials.

Mabus, who arrived Monday, met with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista, Philippine Navy’s Flag Officer in Command  Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano, and other senior US and Philippine government and military officials.

The meeting lasted no more than an hour, a staff from the Department of National Defense said.

“Mabus’ visit reflects the importance that the United States holds for the strong and enduring relationship with the Philippines,” the US Embassy in Manila said in its advisory.

His visit came amid mounting tensions in the West Philippine Sea between China and Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, with China’s intrusion in Ayungin Shoal located within the Philippine territory as the latest reported incident.

“As we rebalance to the Pacific, our alliance with the Philippines has never been more important than it is today,” said Mabus. “I look forward to exploring opportunities to work with the Philippine armed forces to build greater maritime capacity and increase security and stability in the region,” he added.

When asked if the West Philippine Sea was tackled, US Ambassador Harry Thomas only reiterated Secretary of State John Kerry’s emphasis that they “want to ensure freedom of navigation and no economic coercion.”

“These sea lanes are open for all of us. That is what they talked about, and that we need to adhere to the code of conduct,” he told reporters in an ambush interview.

It is the Secretary of the Navy that leads the American Navy and Marine Corps, and is responsible for the Navy’s affairs including recruiting, organizing, equipping, training and mobilizing. Additionally, he oversees the construction and repair of naval ships, aircraft, and facilities, and formulates and implements policies and programs consistent with the national security policies established by the President Barack Obama and the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Mabus is responsible for an annual budget in excess of $170 billion and leadership of almost 900,000 people.

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  • noypisiTED

    Now Mr. Ambassador Harry Thomas you mentioned “Code of Conduct” and “Freedom of Navigation” in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). China is showing bad conduct when it seizes others’ property like the Philippines’ Panatag and Scarborough Shoals. What more, China didn’t want to submit itself in a legal arbitration to resolve the issue on who really owns these shoals as it knew it has weak and indefensible argument to claim sovereignty over these shoals. Let’s hold more Military and live fire exercises at WPS. If possible let’s enlist volunteers (like those who underwent ROTC trainings in College) who would like to join in these exercises so that when the time comes that their military skills would be required by their country they are already familiar with at least on holding and firing guns and ammunition.

  • $31552910

    The Philippines must not be overly dependent on its traditional allies and defense treaty partners for its external defense since foreign countries are expected to look out for their own strategic interests and economic interests or trade relations and they might be unwilling to provide military assistance to the Philippines or they might not want to put too much attention or importance to the security needs of the Philippines.

  • joboni96

    “As we rebalance to the Pacific, our alliance with the Philippines has never been more important than it is today,”

    yan ang tunay na balak nila
    gawing u.s. base na naman ang bayan natin

    tulad noong ww2 noong ipahamak tayo sa mga hapon
    ngayon ipapahamak na naman tayo sa mga intsik switik

    para gerrahin ang intsik switik
    upang burahin ang trilyones na utang nila

    tayo ang tatamaan, masisira at mamamatayan
    hindi sila tatamaan, yayaman pa ulit tulad noong ww2

    layas imperyalista

    • Pedring2

      Welcome back Americans! Help us fumigate the insects and eradicate the local commies.

      • joboni96

        malapit ka ng ifumigate
        kolonisadong utak

      • Pedring2

        We will kick aZZes of local commies and their insect friends!
        JaboCommie, how do you propose to defend our country? With only a few dozens or hundreds of your ultra-nationalist comrades? Be a part of the solution, idiot!

      • joboni96

        mas-idiot cia call center agent
        don’t peddle your inutile anemic aasss kissing here

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