JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
August 22, 2021
Point of Contact:
CAMP SMITH, Hawaii – In honor of the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, traveled to the Philippines to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the alliance with the Philippines.
During his visit, Aquilino attended the Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, met with senior government officials, and underscored the U.S. commitment to the Philippines and the Indo-Pacific region.
“Today, our friendship, this trust, and our alliance is more necessary than ever to confront the security challenges in this region that threaten our way of life. By strengthening collaboration and increasing the scope of our engagements, we will further grow our bond and ensure its lasting impact,” Aquilino said. “Both of our nations have made it clear that we are committed to the Alliance, and that we remain prepared to fight alongside and defend each other using all of our capabilities to preserve peace and stability in the region—just as we have before.”
As part of his trip, Aquilino met with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Inspector General Lt. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomes Admiral John C Aquilino as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty, the birth of our defense alliance,” LtGen. Gacal said on behalf of AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jose Faustino. “This occasion is an opportunity to advance our mutual security interests and manifests both our Armed Forces’ commitment to the alliance even in the midst of challenges brought by the pandemic.”
The trip marks his first visit to the Philippines as Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and underscores the U.S.-Philippine relationship as close friends and allies. Aquilino previously visited the Philippines as Commander U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet in August 2018, meeting with Secretary Lorenzana and other Philippine defense officials to discuss opportunities to increase military cooperation.