US won't ensure Phl security - lawmaker
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - March 27, 2013 - 10:03am

MANILA, Philippines - A lawmaker on Wednesday said the Philippines should formulate an independent foreign policy instead of relying to the US for its security.

Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan (Party-list, Gabriela) expressed doubts whether the "Multinational Maritime Security Roundtable Discussion" between the US and the Philippines scheduled to take place on April 5-17 would advance the security and stability of the region in the near future.

“The current situation is that the Philippines is dependent highly on US dictate,” Ilagan said.

Ilagan said taking on the interest of the US instead of pursuing its own would simply declare the lack of a strong independent foreign policy.

The roundtable discussion is part of the upcoming Balikatan Exercise 2013 that seeks to determine specific humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in high-traffic international waters and build response confidence among multi-national partners.

Six other nations, namely, Australia, Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand will take part in a maritime security discussion and not in the actual field training exercises, which will be limited to Filipino and US forces alone.

Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said the event will be one of the highlights of this year's military exercise where more than 8,000 soldiers from the AFP and US military are set to participate.

The Philippines is embroiled in a territorial dispute over a number of areas in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea with China. Manila has initiated arbitration proceedings to settle the issue, but Beijing has refused to participate in the case.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES ARNULFO MARCELO BURGOS BALIKATAN EXERCISE BEIJING ILAGAN LUZVIMINDA ILAGAN MULTINATIONAL MARITIME SECURITY ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION SINGAPORE AND THAILAND SOUTH CHINA SEA SOUTH KOREA WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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