PH and MH Convene Defense Cooperation Committee for the 7th Time

Convening on October 2 for the 7th time since the MOU on Defense Cooperation was inked in 1994, it was noted that while linkages between the three services including the general headquarters of both defense establishments are robust, ties between defense research institutions are still to be developed. This was the shared sense of both heads of delegations Undersecretary for Defense Policy Pio Lorenzo F. Batino and Dato Sri Abdul Rahim bin Mohamad Radzi,  Malaysia’s Secretary General of Defense. 

Indeed, as the meeting took stock of cooperation between the two defense forces ,  exchange of visits at all levels, education and training exchanges as well as in information sharing have gained momemtum but cooperation in the area of defense research is something that must be pursued. Meanwhile, both delegations acknowledged each other’s efforts to promote their respective defense industries, with Malaysia’s efforts to promote the ASEAN Defense Industry Collaboration (ADIC) and the PH thrust to revitalize its Self Reliant Defense Industry Program (SRDP) being seen as key initiatives.

During the meeting, both delegations likewise exchanged views regarding key security issues to include maritime security, terrorism and natural disasters. While the Philippines stressed the necessity of ensuring peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea, Malaysia highlighted the need for proactive efforts to dissuade citizens from going to the Middle East and join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). Meanwhile, both delegations agreed that countries need to further intensify their preparations for addressing natural disasters and calamities.

Prior to the CCDC, Secretary General Rahim and Undersecretary of National Defense Honorio Azcueta had a bilateral meeting where they discussed the results of the 7th ASEAN-Japan Vice-Ministerial Meeting held in Japan last month and where both officials participated as well as shared their thoughts on the upcoming ASEAN-China Defense Informal Meeting in mid-October. 

A courtesy call on the Secretary of National Defense took place on October 1 prior to his bilateral meeting with USEC Azcueta and CCDC. In his interaction with Secretary Gazmin, Mr. Rahim emphasized Malaysia’s appreciation for the collaborative work undertaken by Philippine and Malaysian authorities in addressing the problem of illegal migration. In behalf of Malaysia’s Defense Minister Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein who currently chairs the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM), Mr. Rahim reiterated the invitation for Secretary Gazmin to the forthcoming ADMM Retreat and ADMM-Plus meeting in November.