MANILA, Philippines – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Ricardo Visaya flew to Indonesia last week to attend the 7th Indo Defense Expo and Forum, which brought together senior government and military officials from all over the world.
The bi-annual expo held from November 3-5 also gathered over 750 major and minor weapons manufacturers, according to a military statement.
General Visaya said the expo gave the military new insights and inputs on how to proceed with the AFP’s capability upgrade.
“We have a standing commitment to our soldiers and by extension to the Filipino people that we will exert all efforts to bolster our own military capabilities. With this exposition and different bilateral meetings we will conduct on the sidelines, we can expect to gain new insights and inputs on how to proceed in realizing our vision of fully capable Armed Forces,” Visaya said in a statement.
In aiming to forge a military policy that is independent of the country’s longest treaty ally, the US, President Rodrigo Duterte declared he wants the Philippines to look for alternative sources of weapons.
The companies represented at the expo came from Germany, India, Italy, Australia, South Korea, France, Turkey, USA, UK, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Belarus, and Indonesia.
AFP Public Affairs Office chief Marine Colonel Edgard A. Arevalo said the AFP chief flew to Indonesia to meet with his Indonesian counterpart, General Gatot Nurmantyo, and heads of delegations from East Timor, Malaysia, and Poland.
They discussed shared concerns like terrorism, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, and other transnational crimes.
The expo that carried the theme “Bolstering Defense industry Cooperation: Achieving a Global Maritime Fulcrum and Secure World” was held simultaneously with the 5th Indo Aerospace, 2nd Indo Helicopter, and 4th Indo Marine Expositions. – Rappler.com