Philippines, Australia reaffirm commitment to bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation

August 11, 2023

August 8, 2023 (Quezon City) — Secretary of National Defense (SND) Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. received H.E. Hae Kyong Yu PSM, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, during the Ambassador’s introductory call at the Department of National Defense (DND).

In support of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s guidance on transitioning the focus of the Philippine defense sector to external defense, Secretary Teodoro acknowledged the ‘mature’ defense cooperation between the Philippines and Australia in various bilateral and multilateral platforms.

Notably, Secretary Teodoro welcomed the conduct of the Philippine leg of the Indo-Pacific Endeavor (IPE), Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity and the inaugural Defense Minister’s Meeting (DMM). Both sides took stock of bilateral activities that reaffirm the deep friendship between the Philippines and Australia, and both countries’ shared objectives in promoting regional peace and security.

Ambassador Yu reiterated Australia’s appreciation for the Philippines’ assistance in locating the wreckage of SS Montevideo Maru, a World War II vessel that sunk northwest of Luzon in 1942, which killed Australian prisoners of war (POWs), among others.

Secretary Teodoro also took the opportunity to express appreciation to the Australian Government for its donation to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in relation to the upcoming Project-based Community Medical Deployment (PCMD)/Medical Aid Provision (MAP) under the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Experts’ Working Group (EWG) on Military Medicine, which is currently co-chaired by Brunei Darussalam and Australia.

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