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Latest News Philippines: DEFENSE PACT INKED – Journal.com.ph:
CANADA and the Philippines yesterday inked a defense agreement to help the country procure military equipment and boost its capability to defend its territory.
President Benigno Aquino and visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the development in a joint media briefing in Malacanang yesterday.
The Philippines’ Department of National Defense and the state-run Canadian Commercial Corp. signed the agreement as Harper met Aquino at Malacanang Palace
The deal was signed amid a territorial dispute between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea.
“This memorandum of understanding will enable the Philippines to acquire the equipment and expertise it needs to fulfill the country’s defense and security agenda,” Harper said.
Under the deal, Filipino purchases of equipment and expertise from Canada’s $12.6 billion (US$12.6 billion) defense industry are guaranteed by the Ottawa government, according to a Canadian government statement.
“This will help us in our efforts to build our defense and security capabilities,” Aquino said.
“I cannot go into specifics lest they be observed by less friendly individuals,” the President said.
Earlier, the President noted that the military had just two transport aircraft, no fighter jets and just 132 mainly World War II-era ships.
“The fundamental issue is that we have a lot of outmoded equipment,” he said.
The Canadian Commercial Corp. serves as a go-between Canadian suppliers and foreign governments in transacting defense and security contracts.
The Philippines has been in the market for patrol vessels to protect its waters, including areas that overlap with territory claimed by China.
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