France in talks with PH for possible submarine deal
MANILA, Philippines — The French government is in an “ongoing discussion” with the Marcos administration about the potential purchase of its first-ever submarine, French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz said during a press briefing in Mandaluyong on Wednesday.
Boccoz said that submarine acquisition, along with other issues, was raised during her meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“There is an ongoing discussion. There is a tender and there’s been a proposal. This is a normal discussion,” Boccoz said, when asked if Marcos had made a commitment to the purchase of submarines.
During the previous administration, then-Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Philippines was looking to acquire French-made submarines. He said there was bilateral cooperation between the two countries to prepare the Philippines once it had its own submarine.
The Philippine Navy had also started to send personnel in France for training ahead of the procurement of the submarines.
The Philippines is an archipelago with one of the world’s longest coastlines and territorial disputes with its neighbors. But it has been left behind in the submarine race with its neighbors in Southeast Asia.
Currently, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore already have submarines.
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