US INDOPACOM commander visits the Philippines

Photos by SN1 Donald Viluan PN/PAOAFP

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander for US Indo-Pacific Command, traveled to the Philippines to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the alliance with the Philippines.

During his visit, Aquilino attended the Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, met with senior government officials, and underscored the US commitment to the Philippines and the Indo-Pacific region.

“Our alliance represents the mutual trust that is central to our enduring friendship, and this trust is a necessity in order to confront the security challenges in this theater,” Aquilino said.

“Both of our nations have made it clear that we are committed to the Alliance, and that we remain prepared to fight alongside and defend each other using all of our capabilities to preserve the region’s peace and stability,” he added.

As part of his trip, Aquilino met with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Inspector General LtGen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomes Admiral John C Aquilino as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty, the birth of our defense alliance,” LtGen. Gacal said on behalf of AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jose Faustino.

“This occasion is an opportunity to advance our mutual security interests and manifests both our Armed Forces’ commitment to the alliance even in the midst of challenges brought by the pandemic,” he added.

The trip marks his first visit to the Philippines as Commander US Indo-Pacific Command and underscores the US-Philippine relationship as close friends and allies. Aquilino previously visited the Philippines as Commander US Navy Pacific Fleet in August 2018, meeting with Secretary Lorenzana and other Philippine defense officials to discuss opportunities to increase military cooperation.

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