23 November 2015
PN will operate three Hamilton class frigates (photo : militar)
MANILA, Philippines – The actual transfer of a maritime research vessel and cutter that the US government is donating to the Philippines is no longer feasible during the Aquino administration due to the long and tedious process, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.
Gazmin said it may take at least one year before the country could get hold of the vessels promised by US President Barack Obama during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.
President Aquino is relinquishing his post on June 30 next year to whoever will be elected as the country’s next president.
“I think it may not be delivered during the term of President Aquino, the process takes long,” Gazmin said on Friday night after a thanksgiving mass held at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City for the military personnel who took part in securing the APEC meetings.
Gazmin thanked Obama for his decision to give the country a cutter and a hydrographic ship, saying the two vessels would count a lot in the continuing efforts of the Aquino administration to modernize the military.
As pledged by the US president, the military will get the Coast Guard cutter Boutwell and the research ship R/V Melville.