Lorenzana says Philippines can acquire military equipment from any country as long as it's legal
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana emphasized Friday that the Philippines can acquire military equipment from any country as long as it is allowed by law.
"While our acquisition of submarines for the Philippine Navy is still under study and nothing is final at this point, we emphasize that the Defense Department will procure equipment that is most advantageous for the Armed Forces of the Philippines through our AFP Modernization Program," he said.
"We will acquire equipment from any country as long as the procurement follows the proper process as provided for under Philippine laws, and the equipment meets the requirements of its end users," Lorenzana noted.
"In the case of the planned submarine purchase, we will consider any and all offers," he added.
This was stressed by Lorenzana after Randall Schriver, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs warned the Philippines against possible acquisition of major military equipment like submarines from Russia.
In an interview with reporters on Thursday, Schriver said that Philippines' possible acquisition of big ticket items from Russia like submarines is not helpful with its alliance with the United States.
"I think they should think very carefully about that. It’s not a, it’s not a, this, if they would have proceed with purchasing major Russian equipment, I don't think that’s a helpful thing to the alliance and ultimately I think we can be a better partner than the Russians can be to the Philippine people,” Schriver said.
“When you buy weapons systems particularly major platforms you're not just buying capability, you're investing in a relationship and finding US platforms, US solutions helps us continue in our interoperability, helps us improve our ability to operate in all kinds of scenarios, so that is an opportunity (cause) if you choose another supplier,” he noted.
I think more than that, I mean let’s understand the nature of this regime in Russia, I don't need to go to the full laundry list , Crimea Ukraine, the chemical attack in the UK, so you are investing in not only platforms but making a statement about our relationship,” he added.
However, Lorenzana emphasized that "the DND will honor all our alliances and international partnerships through the conduct of international defense and security engagements". Robina Asido/DMS