PNoy meets US commander amid China row
|PNoy shakes hand of Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander of the United States Pacific Command|
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III met with the commander of the United States Pacific Command, Samuel J. Locklear III, who is in Manila for a three-day visit.
This is Locklear's first visit in Manila since assuming command of the US military forces in the Asia Pacific region in March.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ricky Carandang said Locklear reaffirmed the longstanding partnership of the United States and the Philippines.
Locklear also reiterated the United States' commitment to help its treaty ally, the Philippines, to boost its military capacity or establish a "minimum credible defense posture."
Carandang said the West Philippine Sea was discussed only "in broad strokes."
Among those present in the meeting were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr, Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang, and US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas.
According to the US Embassy, Locklear is here for discussions with senior Philippine government officials on maritime and regional security issues, as well as developments in the defense alliance between the Philippines and the United States.
He is also scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa.
The US Pacific Command has an area of responsibility that encompasses the Asia Pacific region, with the mission to protect the interests of the United States and its allies, promote regional security, and deter aggression in the Asia-Pacific.