President Rodrigo Duterte recently decided to bankroll the second phase of the 15-year Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program. The plan for the program involves three five-year phases, or “horizons.” The first horizon, which began in 2013 and ended in 2017, involved purchases of military hardware mainly for internal security challenges, though it […]
Security analysts have questioned whether U.S.-Philippine defense cooperation can survive six years of a Philippine president seemingly driven by anti-Western ideology. Those fears should be somewhat allayed, as Duterte has walked back some of his earlier pronouncements and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has declared that the Philippine-U.S. security alliance will not be abrogated and that the EDCA will stay in place.
Amid signs of Duterte rejecting the United States and pivoting fully toward China, the ongoing warmth of the Philippines' security relationship with Japan—China’s greatest rival in East Asia—hints at a greater balancing act within Duterte’s foreign policy vision.
Duterte amends previous geopolitical agenda to maintain U.S.-Philippines security and to establish economic cooperation with China.
U.S.-Philippine security cooperation will combat China’s maritime expansion in the South China Sea
This year’s military exercise reflects the changing nature of the U.S.-Philippines alliance in light of heightened tensions generated by China’s expansion in the South China Sea.
Philippine defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Japanese ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa on February 29 signed a new defense agreement to allow the transfer of defense equipment and technology from Japan to the Philippines. It also provides for the Philippines and Japan to conduct joint research and development, and even joint production, of defense […]
On January 12 the Philippine Supreme Court came out with a courageous decision reaffirming the constitutionality of the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States. In a 10 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the EDCA, paving way for the return of forward-deployed U.S. forces to select Philippine […]
During a bilateral meeting at the November 18-19 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit in Manila, Philippine president Benigno Aquino and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe agreed in principle to negotiate the transfer of defense equipment and technology from the Japan Self-Defense Forces to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). If completed, this accord would […]
For the first time since the Second World War, a Japanese naval reconnaissance plane landed on the western most Philippine island of Palawan to take part in a training exercise with the Philippine Navy (PN) from June 22 to June 26. On June 21, a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MDSF) P3-C Orion with 20 crew members […]
President Benigo Aquino III’s first state visit to Japan reflected the increasing tempo of security cooperation between these two U.S. allies that are facing a common security challenge in their maritime domains—China’s maritime expansion. President Aquino met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss how they can strengthen their countries’ strategic partnership in the face of […]
The Philippines and the United States will hold a large-scale 10-day military exercise known as Balikatan (Shoulder-to-Shoulder) from April 20-30. This takes place in the face of China’s island-building activities in the South China Sea. For Balikatan 2015, 11,740 American, Filipino, and Australian troops will conduct joint training exercises and maneuvers in three separate locations […]
The 2012 Scarborough Shoal stand-off between the Philippines and China was the proverbial tipping point caused by China’s pattern of protracted, aggressive actions against the Philippines that began two years earlier. In mid-2010, the Philippine government had observed an increased Chinese naval presence and activities in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), recorded reports of […]
On 28 April 2014, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). The EDCA is not a new agreement since it merely updates and enhances the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty. It provides the framework by which the Philippines and the U.S. can develop their […]