MANILA, Philippines – Nakipagkita si US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson kina Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. at mga opisyal ng Armed Forces of the Philippines para pag-usapan ang mas malakas pang defense cooperation ng dalawang bansa, kabilang na ang bagong joint patrols sa West Philippine Sea.
“Certainly, this coming year, we expect both of our militaries to continue to cooperate and to exercise and to do whatever it takes both bilaterally, multilaterally to ensure the safety of our peoples,” ani Carlson.
Bagama’t walang detalyeng ibinigay ang US Ambassador sa naging usapan sa joint patrol, sinabi ni AFP chief General Romeo Brawner Jr. na kailangan ang joint patrols upang mas higit na maipatupad ang rules-based international order.
Sang-ayon naman si retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, na bahagi ng legal team na nanalo laban sa China sa Permanent Court of Arbitration noong 2016, na dapat magpatuloy ang joint patrols.
“We should have a series of joint patrols every year especially because we will be sending our service ship and drilling ship to Reed Bank, and when we send our service ship and drill ship there should be a joint patrol just in case the Chinese Coast Guard will try to shoo away our service ship and drill ship,” ani Carpio. RNT/JGC