By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras
THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the US Indo-Pacific Command signed an agreement yesterday which aims to strengthen the defense and security cooperation between the two countries.
AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. and Indo-Pacific Commander Admiral Philip S. Davidson reaffirmed US-Philippine ties during the 2018 Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) meeting at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
The MDB was established in 1958 and the SEB was established in 2006. The two boards together form the annual meeting to tackle a framework for defense and security cooperation between the two countries.
The two countries vowed closer cooperation in counterterrorism, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief as they are set to conduct 281 security cooperation activities for the remainder of this year.
“We have been doing this year after year and yet there is still so much left to learn. We hope that this year would be another fruitful interaction that will lead to favorable outcome. May our discussions lead to actions, and may these actions thereby lead us to success,” General Galvez said.
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana recently met with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo in the United States as they reaffirmed the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States.
Messrs. Lorenzana and Pompeo also discussed in their meeting cooperation on the matter of the South China Sea. Mr. Pompeo reiterated US support for the AFP’s modernization.