US, Philippines plan more security cooperation activities for 2020
The Philippines and United States plan more security cooperation activities for 2010 during the Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) in Quezon City Friday.
According to the United States Embassy in Manila the number of military activities for 2020 has increased compared to 2019.
"This year’s meeting resulted in more than 300 planned security cooperation activities for 2020, as compared to 281 from 2019," the embassy stated.
"At the MDB-SEB, the US and the Philippines reaffirmed their continuing and close relationship by enhancing cooperation in counter-terrorism, maritime security, cyber security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and many others," it added.
The MDB-SEB meeting in Camp Aguinaldo was led by Admiral Philip Davidson, commander of the US-Indo-Pacific Command, and General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
"The Mutual Defense Board, which was started in 1958, and the Security Engagement Board, which was started in 2006, act as the central forum for the U.S. and Philippine armed forces to coordinate and plan military activities for the year ahead."
During the meeting Madrigal emphasized the importance of the improvement of defense cooperation between US and Philippine.
"The enhancement of our defense cooperation is the only way for us to move forward and be prepared for the challenges of this ever-evolving world,” Madrigal said.
On the other hand Davidson said that the Philippines and US "will continue to stand together on the foundation of common interests and values."
“Today, we addressed regional security challenges together as friends, allies, and partners,” said Davidson.
“Our national security, including economic security, is reliant on a free and open Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.” he added.
According to US embassy during his stay in the country Davidson traveled to the historic island of Corregidor as well as to Puerto Princesa in the province of Palawan to receive a command brief and tour from Philippine Vice Adm. Rene Medina, commander of Western Command.
It also stated that Madrigal was presented with the Legion of Merit for his outstanding contributions to the US-Philippine alliance.
"The Legion of Merit is the highest US military decoration that may be awarded to foreign military personnel," the embassy stated. Robina Asido/DMS