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Philippines, US defense chiefs to meet in Hawaii to discuss alliance - DND

The Department of National Defense (DND) said the defense chiefs of the Philippines and the United States are set to meet on Thursday (US time) in Hawaii.

The meeting between DND officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr. and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III will take place at the US Indo-Pacific Command in Honolulu.

“Upon the invitation of Secretary Austin, Undersecretary Faustino will meet with his counterpart to discuss the PH-US defense alliance,” the DND said in a statement.

“The two officials are expected to discuss operational cooperation in addressing emerging security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Last week, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said the US’ recognition of the Philippines as its partner in the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), which obligates Washington to defend its Asian ally from aggression, was "significant."

She made the remark after President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. met with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 22.

Although no further details were provided, Cruz-Angeles said that the idea of negotiating a new agreement or redefining the MDT was discussed.

Marcos said the US' role in maintaining peace in the region "is something that is much appreciated by all the countries in the region, and the Philippines especially." — VBL, GMA News