News – PH – The US hands over the C-130 aircraft to the Philippines while Duterte demands a VFA payment

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Posted on 18 February 2021, 11:20 pm | Updated on 19 February 2021 at 8:14 am

MANILA – The United States officially handed over a C-130 aircraft to the Philippines on Thursday as part of the Southeast Asian country’s efforts to modernize its military.

Defense sec Delfin Lorenzana, US. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Gen Cirilito Sobejana and other officials attended the sales ceremony

The aircraft aims to improve the country’s ability to airlift, move troops and cargo during territorial defense and internal security

“Since our country is prone to natural disasters due to its location and topography, it is imperative for the Philippine Air Force to improve its ability to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster response at all times. For these reasons, I am pretty sure this C130-H aircraft is coming soon is used fully and frequently, “said Lorenzana in his speech at the ceremony

The C-130 Hercules transport aircraft was received through a grant from the United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency, according to the Philippine Department of Defense

It is the first of two C-130 Hercules planes costing P25 billion – the Philippines will do that. Of the P25 billion, Manila will only pay P16 billion and the rest will be covered by Washington

“Indeed, this gesture of generosity and goodwill further cements the proven alliance and deep friendship between our two countries,” said Lorenzana

The aircraft’s sales come after President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent abuse against the Philippines’ longtime ally

The president previously demanded that Washington pay if it wants to maintain its Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the Philippines, saying, “America has many crimes against us”

Duterte also said the U.S. should provide weapons and defense systems to its longtime ally in Asia as the poorly equipped Philippine military will stall in the event of a war with China amid unsolved maritime disputes between the two neighboring countries over the South China Sea, also known as the West Philippine Sea

Filipino defense and military officials have meanwhile reaffirmed their support for the VFA, which is central to Washington’s strategy for Asia as China continues to flex its muscles on the continent

Lorenzana said last week her “general feeling is that the VFA continues,” but told his US colleague Lloyd Austin that “we don’t want any miscalculations or accidents in the South China Sea because that’s where we are”the center of the conflict”

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Visiting Forces Agreement, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, Panfilo Lacson, Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Cirilito Sobejana, Salvador Panelo

News – PH – USA turns around C- 130 Plane to Philippines amid Duterte’s request for VFA payment
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Source: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/02/18/21/us-turns-over-c-130-plane-to-philippines-amid-dutertes-demand-for-vfa-payment