US to boost Philippine defence with $144m aid

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The United States will provide the Philippines at least US$144.66 million in defence-related assistance this year, according to Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario.

Speaking before the Manila Overseas Press Club at a Makati City hotel, Del Rosario noted on Wednesday night that the new US aid would be "an increase of $21.38 million from the previous year's appropriation."

The funding, he emphasised, would help the country "improve our national defense by building a minimum defense posture to protect our national sovereignty."

Citing the country's lack of resources, Del Rosario said "it behooves us to proactively seek the assistance and cooperation of our various international partners to achieve this minimum credible posture, which is a fundamental attribute of any sovereign country."

"Last year, we acquired a Hamilton-class cutter from the US, and we are expecting the delivery of a second cutter this year. Negotiations are likewise underway for more defense articles, including newer air assets for the Philippine Air Force," he also said.

Manila is also "updating its mutual defense partnership (with Washington) under the Philippines-US Mutual Defence Treaty in view of the changes in the regional and global security environment."

  • Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report 34 minutes ago
    Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report

    Here are today’s top trending stories in case you missed them.

  • Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day 12 hours ago
    Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day

    If there's one car that's particularly sought-after among today's well-heeled car collectors, a Ferrari 250 would be it. Usually it's the GTO variant, like the 1963 that sold for a record $52 million last year. A 250 of any sorts demands unfathomable cash, however, which is why we can but gawk at this 250 Testa Rossa. It's as close as any mere mortal will ever come to owning one.

  • Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners 13 hours ago
    Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners

    Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.

  • David Moyes statement after Man United firing
    David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    Statement released by David Moyes on Wednesday, a day after Manchester United announced he left as manager after less than a season in charge.

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.

  • Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake
    Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's military commander said critics who called him out for wearing an especially luxurious watch should be quiet because the timepiece is actually a cheap Chinese fake.