Philippine-US alliance aimed at keeping ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific

2023 May 11

AFP chief of staff Gen. Andres Centino (right) and US Army chief Gen. James McConville (left)


MANILA – The increasing engagements between the Philippine and United States (US) militaries are aimed at maintaining a free Indo-Pacific region.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Andres Centino and US Army chief Gen. James McConville made this commitment during their meeting at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Wednesday.

“The two affirmed that the increase in engagements is geared towards preventing conflict, advancing rules-based international order, and maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Jorry Baclor said in a statement late Wednesday.

He said Centino and McConville also discussed the growing bilateral relationship between the Philippines and the US which was highlighted by the recent visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to the United States.

“I was very excited about his recent visit to Washington D.C. as it sets the stage for a bigger and stronger relationship,” the US general was quoted as saying.

McConville added he welcomes the training exercises and high-level engagements as a sign of increasing partnership. “We’ve been friends and allies for a long time, and I think it is important that we stay that way. In fact, [I think it’s better that] we become better friends, partners, and allies in the future,” the American military official added.

Meanwhile, Centino reciprocated the optimism on the Philippine-US alliance and welcomed the recent developments, especially those that boost capability and interoperability.

“We are thankful for your commitment and your support. We appreciate you for coming here as it goes a long way in strengthening our alliance and promoting cooperation,” he said.

Priam Nepomuceno (PNA)