“Our bilateral relationship with the United States is strong in many areas and anchored on mutual respect. The defense modernization program of the Philippine Government will continue to be an important aspect of the bilateral relations between our two countries,” the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. said in a statement May 21.
It noted that the defense modernization program “is critical to national security and necessary to achieving a credible defense posture.”
“It also makes the Philippines a more robust and effective security partner for countries in the Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia regions, especially at a time of traditional and emerging security challenges,” the Philippine embassy added.
“The defense modernization program of the Philippine Government has been continuously pursued not only by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, but also by previous administrations,” it explained.
“It is unfortunate that certain groups seek to take advantage of this issue to advance their own political agenda, even to the detriment of the long-standing alliance between the Philippines and the United States,” the embassy in Washington D.C. said.