‘Let’s go beyond military’: Pimentel calls for US support in agri, food security

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2022 07:54 PM

MANILA — US Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to the Philippines should be taken by everyone as “good news” for the Philippines, as this illustrates how both countries value their relationship, according to Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III.

But aside from the military aid, what the US government should also consider is helping the Philippines improve its agricultural production, he said.

“Napapansin ko kasi yung pattern eh. Let’s go beyond military relationship. Puro na lang military equipment eh, and aid offer to sell eh. Sana tulungan tayo sa agricultural production natin. Yun ang number 1 nating kalaban ngayon eh, yung inflation,” he said.

“Lahat ng technology nila na nagpalago ng kanilang pagkain, ituro nila sa atin,” Pimentel said.

As to the recent incident in Pag-asa Island where Chinese Coast Guard elements reportedly snatched rocket debris from AFP personnel, Pimentel lauded the government’s serving of a note verbale to the Chinese government.

Such action is the most appropriate action following such incident, Pimentel said.

“Dapat hindi niyo (China) ginagawa 'yan. Kasi kung patuloy nyong ginagawa 'yan, hindi natin alam in the future. Baka it might escalate, or lead to a more serious or a violent situation. Eh ayaw natin yun na mangyari,” Pimentel said.

According to the Philippine Navy, the Chinese Coast Guard forcefully took a rocket fairing that was first retrieved by personnel of the Naval Station Emilio Liwanag. Beijing denied "interception and seizing" had taken place, claiming the Philippine side returned the object after "friendly consultation".

The Philippine foreign ministry has sent a note verbale to China for it to explain the Nov. 20 incident.