Lorenzana, Mattis discuss PH-US defense ties in Pentagon meeting


Posted at Sep 19 2018 08:56 AM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and US Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon on Sept. 18, 2018. Handout photo from the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC

MANILA -- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana met with his US counterpart, James Mattis, at the Pentagon to discuss cooperation between Washington and Manila, according to two official statements.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington DC and the US Department of Defense both confirmed the meeting on Tuesday US time. No other details were immediately available.

The Philippines and the US are bound by the decades-old Mutual Defense Treaty.

"Both our defense establishments agree that the Philippines-US alliance remains robust, based on an enduring history of close engagement and our unwavering commitment to work together on shared values," Lorenzana said in a short video of the meeting released by the Pentagon.

Mattis quoted the Filipino statesman Carlos Romulo in his remarks during the meeting, saying the alliance between Manila and Washington is based on a "common love of liberty, shared allegiance to democracy and battle-tested comradeship."

Manila is among claimants to the resource-rich South China Sea, where Washington has expressed concern over Beijing's construction in disputed reefs.