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Still BFFs! Lorenzana affirms strong PH-US ties in visit to Pentagon

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Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against the United States, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana showed that the Philippines still values its relationship with its ally by visiting the Pentagon and top defense officials in Washington recently.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Lorenzana held a bilateral meeting at the Pentagon Tuesday (September 18) to discuss the enduring alliance between the US and the Philippines.

In his speech, Mattis said the long-standing relationship between the US and the Philippines is rooted on a “common love of liberty, a shared allegiance to democracy and good comradeship.”

Lorenzana, meanwhile, described the Philippines’ ties with the US as “robust” based on a long history of “close engagement” and the commitment to work together on “shared values.”

As part of his official visit to Washington, Lorenzana also met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss areas of bilateral cooperation and diplomatic engagement, and Senator Dan Sullivan, a prominent member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee.

Lorenzana’s trip comes amid the Duterte administration’s pivot to China and Russia. The President recently turned down an invitation from the US officials to buy fighter jets from Washington, saying they will be “utterly useless” in the country.