MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines wants to acquire two more navy ships from the United States to boost its maritime defense capability amid threats from China, Armed Forces chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista said yesterday.
The new acquisitions would come under the fresh US military assistance announced by US Secretary of State John Kerry when he visited the Philippines last month, Bautista said.
“Within the last year, we realized that there is a real threat out there in terms of securing, defending our territory,” Bautista told ANC television.
He said that ideally, the country needs about six more frigates to guard its long coastline effectively.
“In fact, we are bidding now for two frigates, hopefully we will be able to acquire them in a couple of years,” Bautista said.
He said he has made “maritime domain awareness” and protection a key concern of his leadership.
The funds used to boost maritime defense, he said, would come from the $40-million military assistance pledged by Kerry in December.