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US has given PH P5B worth of military ships, planes, vehicles under Duterte

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The Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), signed 67 years ago, is a testament that the alliance between the United States and the Philippines has been a success, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said Tuesday.

“I think we can all agree that the Mutual Defense Treaty has been a very productive and successful arrangement for the first 67 years, and we very much look forward to the many close partnership between our two countries,” the envoy said in a speech at the Mangrove Forum.

The Philippines – US Mutual Defense Treaty, signed on Aug. 30, 1951, underpins the strong defense and security ties between two nations.

Since January 2017, Kim reported that the US has delivered more than P5 billion or at least $95 million-worth of airplanes, ships, and armored vehicles to the country.

Kim added that US commitment to the Philippines was “on full display” during the 2017 Marawi siege.

“At the request of the Philippine government, US Special Operations Forces provided critical assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Marawi throughout their fight,” he added.

Kim said the two nations have also shared “strong and deep-rooted economic partnership,” aside from its military alliance.

“We’re optimistic about the Philippines’ economic future and look forward to further deepening our economic ties,” he said, noting the Philippines is the largest exporter of the US by value.

The US is among the country’s top trading partners, exchanging more than P1 trillion or about $20 billion in 2017.

In the first six months of 2018, the US was the top export destination for Philippine goods, he added.

“Relationship has grown dramatically in the 67 years since we signed the Mutual Defense Treaty and returning to today’s topic, Quo Vadis? Where are we headed? My short answer to that will be onward, upward, and more of the same,” he said.

With the “positive trajectory” of the two nations’ cooperation, Kim believes its security alliance, economic ties, and people-to-people linkages will continue to grow. (PNA)