MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to expand further ties with India, especially those dealing with security, is a “welcome development” saying it provides the Philippine military a “wider and broader cooperation” with other Asian counterparts, an official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Friday.
“Remember that this is not only India we have been having military-to-military engagements, we have had Pakistan in the past, we have had Russia, China, Brunei, Australia of course the United States of America,” AFP Spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
He said these countries are interested in collaborating with the Philippines in the area of humanitarian assistance and disaster response and countering and preventing violent extremism.
The expansion of security ties with India is beneficial to the Philippines as the country’s military can look at their training and equipment which can be acquired for AFP’s use, Arevalo added.
He said a technical working group is now looking into possible Indian defense equipment which can be acquired for the AFP.
Last week, Duterte and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in New Delhi for the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit.
During the visit, Duterte emphasized that both the Indian and ASEAN military must cooperate in combating modern-day terrorism and threat of piracy.