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US donates P1.38-B worth of defense gear to Philippines to secure borders

The United States defense department has donated P1.39 billion or $29 million worth of defense gear to the Philippine government to boost its efforts in securing borders, its Philippine counterpart said.

In a statement, the Department of National Defense said the aid was turned over to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as a “symbol of the Philippines and the US’ continued warm alliance.”

Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. accepted the military paraphernalia from US Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller.

Miller also informed Lorenzana that one C130 military transport aircraft will be delivered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines on December 17.

Lorenzana and Miller also agreed to further boost the military to military engagement between the two countries.

“We are grateful for the support provided by the United States as we continuously work on the enhancement of the Philippines’ defense capabilities,” Lorenzana said.

“The modernization of the AFP will ultimately allow us to respond more effectively to both traditional and non-traditional security threats to our maritime nation. Our government expresses our deep appreciation for the US government’s assistance in protecting our borders from external threats,” he added.

The US defense department has also earlier transferred defense equipment to several special mission units of the AFP.

The DND said the new equipment will strengthen the AFP’s joint precision strike, sniper, riverine and counter-improvised explosive device capabilities.

US Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett also earlier handed over to the Philippine Navy a ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System, while US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien donated P868 million ($18 million) in supplementary military equipment and training to the AFP. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/BM, GMA News