GOOD NEWS: Philippines to Receive Military Planes From US
The Philippines will receive military planes from the United States before the year 2016 ends.
This is the statement of the Philippine Coast Guard, days after President Rodrigo Duterte call President Barack Obama a son of a whore should the latter call on him to account for human-rights issues related to his war on illegal drugs.
On Wednesday, Philippine coast guard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said the United States is giving the Philippines two used military aircraft.
This development aims to help Manila expand sea patrols in the face of territorial disputes with China which claims the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea.
Manila, which has the weakest military in the whole Asia, has been trying to improve defense ties with its former colonial ruler Washington and other allies in the world.
According to Balilo, the two military planes he is referring are Sherpa 30-seater aircraft.
The official added that these aircrafts will be delivered in December, this year 2016.
“It will help us in the movements of the Philippine Coast Guard like patrol missions,” Balilo added.
On Monday, Duterte sparked a major diplomatic row with Manila’s longtime treaty ally the United States by his remarks against Obama before he and the Philippine delegation flew to Laos for the ASEAN Summit.
While in Laos, Duterte said he regretted the remarks, which resulted to the cancellation of the scheduled meeting between the two officials on the sidelines of the summit.
Balilo said the Sherpas is a better asset of the Coast Guard because this would help augment its meager air patrol capability, now comprised of two old Britten-Norman Islanders.
The Philippines has recently expressed concern about Beijing’s massive island-building over reefs, some of them claimed by Manila, in the West Philippine Sea.
Last week, Duterte said China had sent barges to the contested Scarborough Shoal and had appeared to begin construction there for the first time.
In July, the Philippines scored a sweeping victory when a UN-backed tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands ruled in July dismissing the Beijing’s claims to most of the sea because there is no legal basis.[source]