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10月8日のまにら新聞から

Philippines can manage without military aid from US: Lorenzana

[ 649 words|2016.10.8|英字 (English) ]

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday the Philippine military can manage without military aid from the United States

He told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, the country is getting around 50 to 100 million dollars yearly from the United States.

“To me 50 to 100 million (dollars) may be looks big but actually we can make it without this if it is the policy of the president. If he finally decides to stop the exercises then I think we can live without those aids,” Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana said the Philippine will not able to get US military assistance if war games will be stopped.

He also expressed his belief the government will give them more funds if the US stops giving them aid.

“Yes we can live without those aids. As I said a while ago our Congress are giving us money now for the procurement of our equipment. I believe they will give us more if we don’t have source of other funds I think they will give us more…,” Lorenzana said.

The Philippines suspended a naval exercise with the United States in the South China Sea as it complied with an order from President Rodrigo Duterte halt such activity, said Lorenzana.

Lorenzana said an passing exercise set for October 1 where the US Navy and the Philippine Navy passing through the exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea was put off.

Although the Philippines and the US have not conducted joint patrols in the South China Sea, Lorenzana said there will be no patrols with the US in the future.

“Until we clarify what he (Duterte) means when he said that there will be no more patrols, then we will inform our counterparts there will be no more patrols in the meantime,” said Lorenzana.

Lorenzana said the budget the defense department is asking for 2017 is “ just enough for personal services and maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).”

He said their request is 130 million (pesos) because the modernization fund is not included in the budget.

“I am comfortable with the budget now because it covers the expenses that we expect for next year, it is actually seven percent larger than budget last year, just a very minimal increase from last year’s,” Lorenzana added.

Lorenzana said he will clarify if passing exercises with other countries will be suspended.

These exercises are done with the Philippine Navy and naval forces of other countries before they leave the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

He said he wants to get “official directives” from Duterte if the ongoing amphibious landing exercise is the last war game with the US. “We heard him on TV but I still have to clarify it with him because the Americans are still hoping there are exercises next year,” Lorenzana said.

Duterte said he is looking at “breaking up” ties with the US, stopping war games and reviewing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement following criticisms from Washington over his anti-illegal drug program.

Lorenzana said “maybe” he agreed with Duterte “the Americans failed to beef up our capability that will at par in what is happening in the region.”

“We have been an ally with US since 1951, when the Mutual Defense Treaty was signed between the two countries and all we got from that time until the bases left on 1991 were all handed out. No new equipment except perhaps a couple of C130 and the helicopters…. maybe I agree with him (President Rodrigo Duterte) is that,” he said.

Amid tirades being thrown by Duterte against the US, Lorenzana said there are no words about possible “withholding of aid” to the Philippines.

“We haven’t received any word of any backlash or any withholding of the aid that are in the pipeline just a words of concern from them that were is our alliance going with this comment from President Duterte,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS