PH and Brunei Convene Joint Defense Working Committee

The Philippines and Brunei convened for the 7th time their Joint Defense Working Committee on 17 June 2014. Held in Manila, the Philippine side was headed by DND Undersecretary for Policy Pio Lorenzo Batino and the Brunei side was led by Col (Ret) Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Azmansham bin Pengiran Haji Mohammad, Permanent Secretary for Defense Policy and Development.

The meeting enabled defense officials from the two countries to exchange perspectives on regional security issues, with the PH side providing recent updates on the situation in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea and Brunei emphasizing the importance it places on ASEAN in promoting Brunei’s national security. Both sides acknowledged the utility of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus in promoting practical cooperation and building trust and confidence among defense forces in the region.

With Brunei being one of the three countries invited to send an expert to the International Decommissioning Body that is being organized in connection with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the two sides also examined how defense forces, specifically the Brunei Armed Forces, could continue to contribute in Mindanao’s road to peace. Brunei has consistently contributed to the International Monitoring Team (IMT).

The two sides also examined activities that would further promote PH-Brunei bilateral defense ties to include exchange of visits, education and training opportunities, military exercises and intelligence exchanges.