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DND praises senators for backing the EDCA and combined US-Philippine patrols

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Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of the Department of National Defense (DND) applauded three senators for their support of the Philippines and the United States’ decision to designate four more locations as Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites and the potential execution of joint maritime patrols.

In a statement released late Sunday, he continued, “On behalf of the DND, I gratefully appreciate our MPs for their support of EDCA and the restart of combined PH-US maritime patrols.

The fact that politicians are aware of the value of the EDCA and cooperative marine patrols to the national interest, according to Galvez, is positive for the DND.

He was responding to the positive remarks made last week about these positive advancements in Philippine defense and security by Senators Francis Tolentino, Francis Escudero, and Sherwin Gatchalian.

With regard to the changing regional conditions and challenges, Tolentino was previously quoted as saying, “I am in favor of defense/security cooperation ‘upgrades’ with reliable allies like the United States,’ so long as this is anchored on solid constitutional foundations and for the greater interests of the nation, and EDCA is evidently a good model.”

Escudero added that given that the US has been the Philippines’ ally since the late 1940s, there is no reason for the Philippines to stop participating in joint patrols with the US.

Escudero also stressed that coordinated patrols will lessen intrusions and harassment in the neighborhood.

Gatchalian added that combined patrols and other forms of military cooperation with the US will improve the two nations’ military compatibility.

Gatchalian emphasized that these initiatives also include attempts to prepare for disasters, in addition to combat operations.

Galvez also hoped that local governments would understand that the EDCA is about more than just security.

He continued, “We implore them to take into consideration the potential foreign investments and economic development that EDCA sites will bring to their communities as well as the enhancement of the protection of our areas that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the quicker disaster response and mitigation if our front-liners are called to action.

Galvez emphasized that the President’s foreign policy of being a friend to everyone and an adversary to no one is consistent with the DND’s efforts to strengthen the nation’s capabilities.

“The fact that our esteemed senators understand how crucial EDCA and cooperative maritime patrols are to the interests of our country is really promising. I want to thank them once more for their help, “Added he.

Galvez added that the Philippines shares the objective of like-minded countries in preserving freedom of navigation and an Indo-Pacific region that is peaceful, stable, and free.

“In order to prevent humanity from squeezing into a smaller space, it is our duty as members of the global community to preserve the open seaways that are essential for communication. Additionally, we must encourage good management of our marine resources, which are under threat from overfishing and anthropogenic ecological degradation “Added he.

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