Photo credit to Philippine Military Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista
Photo credit to Philippine Military Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista

Manila, Philippines – Amidst the unresolved territorial issue with China, Philippines is still firm about the “no confrontation policy”, but seeks larger military presence for maxium credible defense, said Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista.

“Relative to China, we’re such a small country, such a poor country. That is why we’re trying to leverage our alliance with our friends, with our allies to collectively create that security environment, to prevent aggression,” Bautista said during a foreign correspondents forum in Manila.

“Many foreign ships visit our ports and we welcome them, that is part of military diplomacy,” Bautista further added.

Bautista expressed that the Philippine partnerships collectively protect its region, since it still is incapable of defending its territory alone.

Meanwhile, the country will be undergoing a 75- billion peso program to reinforce its naval and air forces.

Its naval force have just acquired a Hamilton-class cutter from the US coastguard to also help in its operations.

On the other hand, Vietnamese Defense Minister General Phung Quan Thanh on Monday met with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin at Camp Aguinaldo.

“Both officials assessed joint activities of the two defense and military establishments and explored other cooperative initiatives to include humanitarian assistance and disaster relief cooperation given both countries’ experience on natural disasters,” the Department of National Defense stated.

Latest concerns on the issue of the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea were also discussed.

Written by:

Hanna Bartolome
ABCom, Leyte normal University