Philippine president wishes for fighter jets from US

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) -

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will ask US President Barack Obama for fighter jets when they meet, probably in April next year.

Aquino, a member of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) reserve force, made the remarks in his speech before officers and personnel during opening ceremonies for the PAF Invitational Shootfest and firing range blessing at Villamor Airbase on Saturday.

"We went to Bali, Indonesia, recently and as we were leaving for the Philippines, we saw at their airport three F-16s parked and they would be given two squadrons more by our American friends," Aquino said in an impromptu speech.

"I said, this looks rather equitible. Two squadrons for them, one ship for us," he added in jest.

The President said he would remind Obama of the strategic partnership between the Philippines and the United States.

Obama has invited President Aquino to go on a state visit to the US next year.

"I think that when I and President Obama meet next year, perhaps around April, I will remind him of our strategic partnership. They might remember that we don't have a fighter jet here," Aquino said.

The Philippines recently acquired from the United States a Hamilton-class cutter and has named the erstwhile US Coast Guard vessel the BRP Gregorio del Pilar.

"The Navy will be getting-I am told, I have been assured-our second Hamilton class cutter sometime next year," the President said.

"And we did request that when it is given to us, they would no longer remove the equipment installed for us to put back in place when it gets to us and it appears that our request would be granted... Perhaps not the entire system (would remain) but a lot of it," he added.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told defence secretary Voltaire Gazmin during talks in Manila in November that Washington would give the Philippines a second cutter virtually for free in 2012.

The Philippines and the US signed a Mutual Defence Treaty in 1951.

The US recently indicated its preparedness to engage its allies in East Asia and Southeast Asia to ensure the freedom of economic activity and the implementation of maritime rules in the region.

Obama made the remarks when he was asked during a forum at the Apec Summit in Hawaii last month what issues he would tackle and what goals he wanted to accomplish when he attended the East Asia Summit and the US-Asean Summit in Bali also in November.

In a separate news briefing during the Apec meet, the commander of the US Pacific Fleet and recent Manila visitor Adm. Robert Willard said the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) is an important sea lane that is vital to the region, to US allies "and certainly to the United States."

Willard said the sea lanes that "criss-cross" the South China Sea carry US$5.3 trillion in annual bilateral trade, of which $1.2 trillion is in US trade.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano
    Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano

    Government troops captured Sunday a bomb and weapons factory of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced yesterday. Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said the captured bomb and weapons factory is located inside an area controlled by radical Muslim cleric Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako at Barangay Dasikil in Mamasapano. …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

  • Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam
    Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam

    Filipinos aspiring to work overseas should avoid dealing with a recruitment agency that has duped jobseekers worldwide, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday. The National Bureau of Investigation has padlocked Global Visas Inc., which is based in Cebu. Baldoz said the agency’s parent company, ICS Global Visas Inc. based in the United Kingdom, has reportedly collapsed and left thousands of applicants without jobs.  “Global Visas was in the limelight this week, following its reported …

  • Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao
    Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao

    Colleagues of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao at the House of Representatives backed yesterday a proposal to exempt his earnings from his May 2 fight with American Floyd Mayweather from income tax. Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares has urged Pacquiao to promptly pay taxes on his May 2 earnings, which are projected to reach at least $120 million (more than P5.2 billion). …

  • Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer
    Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer

    MOSCOW (AP) — The 23-year-old Ukrainian model who was with slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov tearfully recounted Monday their last dinner in a chic Red Square restaurant and their walk onto a nearby bridge — but said she did not see the gunman who pulled the trigger. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options