The Philippines has right now (Thursday, July 27) taken possession of two brand-new surveillance plane, courtesy of the United States.
The two Cessna C-208B Grand Caravans, worth $33 million, are able to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. They can fly for five-and-a-half hours on a single tank of gasoline.
The plane might be used to spice up the Philippine navy’s counter-terrorism efforts, inner safety operations, legislation enforcement and catastrophe aid operations.
American ambassador Sung Kim handed the planes over throughout a ceremony on the Villamor Airbase in Manila right now.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año had been current on the hand-over.
Mr Lorenzana stated President Duterte couldn’t make it to the ceremony as a result of he had “scheduled trips” elsewhere.
In his speech, the ambassador stated the donation was an emblem of the “strength and enduring nature” of the long-standing US-Philippine alliance.
He additionally stated the US had not too long ago delivered arms and ammunition, together with bombs, rockets, pistols and grenade launchers. Further intelligence and surveillance tools can be given to the navy within the coming months, he added.
He additionally described how the US needed to “help Marawi residents get their city back and start their lives over in a safe and stable environment”.
The occupation of town by Islamic State-linked terrorists, which erupted on May 23, is ongoing.
US particular forces have been noticed close to the fight zone providing “technical assistance”.
Mr Kim stated: “We really want to help AFP as much as we can, as they go through the very difficult situation in Marawi, as they also continue to strive to develop the military in the long term.”
Mr Lorenzana thanked the US for its assist to the AFP, saying the planes would serve as deterrents to communists, terrorists and extremists.
“The planes are the first of its kind, the most modern that we have. Wala naman tayo kasing state of the art,” he stated.
The US has continued to supply help and navy help to the Philippines, regardless of President Duterte’s open distain for the nation. He has usually spoken out towards the USA, notably over its criticism of his warfare on medication.
During his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, he turned to historical past to demand that America return church bells that its troopers had taken from Balangiga, Samar, as “war booty” throughout the Philippine-American warfare in 1901.
Asked to touch upon the president’s angle in direction of the USA, Mr Cayetano stated he “valued” the long-standing alliance.
He additionally stated that the president’s oft-repeated assertion that he didn’t need international troops on Philippine soil was merely an “aspirational statement” not directed at US troops.
He added that the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement, which permit the “rotational presence” of US troops, had been nonetheless operational, and that the president was not forming any new navy alliances.