'Philippine forces ready to help South Korea if needed'

by Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2010 02:16 PM | Updated as of Nov 24 2010 10:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Amid the growing tension between South Korea and North Korea, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced Wednesday that it is ready to help any nation under the United Nations flag.

AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David said that it will be the decision of policy makers of government to send an AFP contingent to South Korea, in case it is asked. But on the part of the AFP, David said it is ready to undertake whatever policy makers decide on.

Although remote in possibility, David said that in case of a foreign attack in our country the AFP is ready to defend the country.

Despite lack equipment, he said the AFP has 'brave and courageous soldiers' that 'even if their only tools are axes' they are ready to defend the country.

During the Korean War in the 1950's, a Philippine military contingent was sent to South Korea to aid the South Koreans as part of the Allied U.N. contingent.

Among the Filipino soldiers who saw action in the Korean War was then-captain Fidel V. Ramos who later became president . As a young journalist then, former senator Benigno Aquino Jr., the father of the current president, covered the war for the Manila Times.

Govt to come up with position on tensions

Meanwhile, President Aquino said that the government will come up with an official position on the incident.

In a phone interview, Aquino said that he will meet with concerned officials to come up with an official position after gathering and evaluating the verified information.

He said their priority is working and ensuring the safety of Filipinos in South Korea. With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News