IN a move to strengthen its defense partnerships with fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member countries, the Philippines is discussing plans for army-to-army engagements with Singapore for 2024, Army Public Affairs chief Col. Xerxes Trinidad said on Wednesday.
Royal Brunei Land Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Col. Pengiran Mohamed Sufri Bin Pengiran Haji Rosli met with Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Potenciano Camba at the Philippine Army Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio on Tuesday.
Trinidad said Sufri is in the country for the 4th Brunei-Philippines (BruPhil) Army Working Group (AWG) Meeting scheduled on Wednesday.
The annual AWG, which is alternately hosted by PA and RBLF, serves as a venue to update bilateral activities and to develop annual and medium-term engagement plans that can contribute to the PA's Capability Development.
Trinidad said that during the meeting with Camba, Sufri conveyed his gratitude to the Philippines for being one of the closest allies of Brunei in the region. Camba, meanwhile, emphasized the role of Brunei in helping foster peace and progress in Mindanao.
Also on Tuesday, the Philippine Air Force welcomed the arrival of the delegation from the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) led by its Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Haji Mohammad Albadii Shahnoel bin Haji Mohammad Noeh, at the PAF Headquarters in Pasay City.
The visit aims to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries by identifying and exploring opportunities for collaboration in various areas of mutual interest.
Meanwhile, Department of Defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong said defense officials from the Philippines and Cambodia moved to strengthen their defense partnership through the 3rd Joint Defense Cooperation Committee (JDCC) Meeting held recently in Manila.
Acting Defense Undersecretary Angelito de Leon and Cambodia's Minister Delegate Attached to the Prime Minister and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Defense, General Neang Phatmet, reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2017 Philippines-Cambodia Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation. They also highlighted the importance of convening the JDCC as a high-level dialogue mechanism to strengthen defense and military partnership.
"Both sides exchanged views on regional security challenges and discussed updates on the restoration of military cooperation, which was previously affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic; multilateral cooperation, especially under the Asean Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)/ADMM-Plus; and bilateral cooperative activities, such as high-level visits, capacity-building assistance, and educational exchanges," Andolong said.