US to transfer $18M bombs to DND, AFP

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    DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday said the United States is due to transfer to the defense and military establishment about $18 million (about P869 million) worth of precision-guided bombs next month through the Excess Defense Article Program of the US.

    Lorenzana said he discussed the transfer with US Chargé d’Affaires John Law during a meeting at Camp Aguinaldo last Friday.

    “We talked about equipment they are offering. They have given us $18 million worth of equipment, military equipment next month,” said Lorenzana. “Those are precision-guided munitions which can be dropped with pinpoint accuracy.”

    Lorenzana said he and Law also talked about the Visiting Forces Agreement, whose termination has been suspended by the Philippine government for another six months last week.

    Lorenzana said Law assured him the US foreign policy will remain the same even if there is a change in the US administration, from Donald Trump to John Biden.

    “Don’t worry, whoever is the (US) president, the alliance will remain the same,” Lorenzana said, referring to the US and Philippine alliance.

    Lorenzana said he and Law also discussed the West Philippine Sea in the South China Sea but did not give specifics.

    The West Philippine Sea is being claimed in part or in whole by the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Filipino troops are occupying nine features in the West Philippines Sea, the largest of which is Pagasa Island.

    Lorenzana added that Law also reiterated the US government’s commitment to help fight the “crisis,” apparently referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.