PNoy, top U.S. general support peaceful end to Scarborough row
MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III met with the United States' top military chief on Monday, June 4, and both reiterated their support for a peaceful resolution of the current dispute between Manila and Beijing over the Scarborough Shoal.
Gen Martin Dempsey, chief of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, called on the President in Malacañang and met with him for about 20 minutes. Also in the meeting were Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Ambassador Harry Thomas, and Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
The meeting happened before Mr Aquino left for a two-leg trip to London and the U.S., where he is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama.
"The discussion [was on] defense and security cooperation between the two countries," Del Rosario told a press conference. "There was also a discussion on a reiteration of assistance and support for our desire to achieve a minimum credible defense posture… and on the current situation in the West Philippine Sea."
Dempsey reiterated the U.S. government's support for a "peaceful resolution" of the standoff in Scarborough Shoal, Del Rosario added. "They (Americans) also continue to emphasize that there should be no use of force."
It was Dempsey's first visit to Manila, but Lacierda gave assurances it was a routine one.
Dempsey was also in Camp Aguinaldo Monday morning to meet with his counterpart, Armed Forces chief of staff Gen Jessie Dellosa.
The U.S. has committed to send another war ship this year to help strengthen the Philippine Navy. - Rappler.com