THE Philippines will not be able to survive external threats without the United States, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Tuesday, disputing a statement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that the country can make it even without Washington’s military support.
“I don’t believe him [Lorenzana] when he said masu-survive natin [that we will survive]in terms of equipage. Our AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] used to American-made equipment,” Lacson explained.
Lorenzana, during the Senate finance committee hearing on the proposed 2017 budget, said the Philippines can look for other allies if the country will cut its ties with the US.
“I think we will survive,” the Defense chief told the senators.
But Lacson said most of the ships and aircraft being used by the AFP are made in the US.
“It will be difficult for us. We can withdraw dependence from US gradually but not abrupt,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been attacking the US and said he will seek closer ties with China and Russia.
But Lacson said the President should reconsider his anti-US posture.
“We don’t need to be hostile against any nation. What we need are allies especially in our situation now that there are intrusions. We need to be allies also with China and other nations but let’s not end ties with US, EU
[European Union],” the senator added.