02 Juni 2011

Philippines would be Purchasing Eight ex Hamilton class Over Five Years

02 Juni 2011

USCG has 12 ships Hamilton class cutter that will soon be replaced by National Security class cutter (photo : USCG)

US cites ‘re-energized’ relations

WASHINGTON D.C. – The United States is "very pleased" with the re-energized relations with the Philippines as shown by discussions of top US and PHL officials on issues such as "maritime security and a range of economic initiatives."

This was revealed by Kurt M. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, in a speech Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) here.

Campbell mentioned the Philippines first in "a country-by-country evaluation" in a speech on the US outlook in Southeast and North East Asia, highlighting the US "policy of re-engagement" in the region.

Founded in 1962, CSIS is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization based in the nation’s capital which "seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and policy solutions to decision-makers."

Campbell’s speech was a preview on the high-level presence of the US in the region’s upcoming events. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Bali, Indonesia, for the 18th Asean Regional Forum in mid-July.

Later this year, President Barack Obama will attend his first East Asia Summit, participate in the third US Asean Summit and host the annual APEC Leaders Summit in Honolulu.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr., who was present at Campbell’s Asia overview, said the five-year, $434 million Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) anti-poverty grant to the Philippines "is on track."

MCC implementation starts in the Philippines this month. The US has linked release of the grant on the condition of an improved human trafficking record by the Philippines.

Cuisia last week said in a press gathering the Philippines would be purchasing "eight cutters over five years" from the US. The cutters are part of the government-to-government cooperation on heightened Philippines’ coastal watch.

Cuisia formally received the Hamilton class cutter May 13 in California. He said the cutter, named after Philippine hero Gregorio del Pilar, would sail for the Philippines on July 5 and arrive there by August.

(Malaya)

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