THE United States will be giving the Philippines $18 million worth of precision-guided munitions next month, according to Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
“They have given us USD18 million worth of (military) equipment (that will arrive) next month,” Lorenzana said on Tuesday, November 17 during the send-off of the BRP Tarlac, which was deployed to typhoon-battered Catanduanes for a relief mission.
“Those are precision-guided munitions that can be dropped with pinpoint accuracy,” he added.
Lorenzana, however, did not disclose more details about the munitions.
The defense chief on Friday, November 13 reportedly met with a U.S. Embassy official at the Department of National Defense (DND) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
According to U.S. Charge d’Affaires John Law, his meeting with Lorenzana focused on “robust and deep-rooted military cooperation.”
Meanwhile, Lorenzana said that the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was among the topics discussed during the meeting.
The VFA’s termination was once again suspended for another six months to “find a more enhanced, mutually beneficial, mutually agreeable, and more effective and lasting arrangement on how to move forward in our mutual defense,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said last week.
Lorenzana also said that U.S. embassy officials have assured that that there would be no change in the U.S.-Philippine defense alliance under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.
Malacañang has previously said that Philippine-U.S. bilateral relations will not see any major changes no matter the result of the election.
“You see the (U.S.) State Department ensures continuity as far as U.S. foreign policy is concerned. So we don’t expect any major changes in bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
The U.S. Embassy in Manila maintained that the relationship between the Philippines and the U.S. will remain strong no matter the president.
“The relationship between our countries is always very strong and (I’m) certain it will continue,” Law said.