The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippines, Thailand sign terms of reference on military cooperation

August 19, 2017

The Philippines and Thailand signed the Terms of Reference (TOR) on the Joint Committee on Military Cooperation (JCMC) in Quezon City last Thursday.

In a statement Friday evening, Assistant Defense Secretary for Assessment and International Affairs Raymund Jose Quilop said the TOR was signed by Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna and Thai Permanent Secretary for Defense General Chaichan Changmongkol at the DND building in Camp Aguinaldo.

Quilop said Lorenzana and Thailand Ambassador to the Philippines Thanatip Upatising witnessed the signing ceremony.

"The Philippines and Thailand have always been natural partners bilaterally and through ASEAN-related engagements and the conclusion of the Terms of Reference (TOR) on the Joint Committee on Military Cooperation (JCMC) is another milestone," said Lorenzana.

Quilop said the signing of the TOR "completes the series of arrangements that have been previously inked at the level of the two countries’ major services, with that of the Philippine Navy being signed in 2012, Philippine Army in 2015 and Philippine Air Force in 2016."

With the signing of the TOR, the JCMC convened for the first time and it was co-chaired by Quilop and Thai Deputy Permanent Secretary for Defense General Chatudom Titthasiri.

Quilop said the "committee assessed the current state of Philippines-Thailand defense cooperation and identified ways forward for the partnership."

"With both sides acknowledging the robustness of the two ministries’ defense engagements, there was a shared sense to explore cooperation in the areas of research and development as well as science and technology, in recognition of the increasing need to develop defense capabilities that are indigenous to the two neighbors," he said.

"The two delegations also exchanged views on current and emerging security issues such as violent extremism and terrorism, maritime security and humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR)," he added.

Quilop said  Philippines and Thailand also "expressed mutual support for each other’s advocacies and initiatives within the ambit of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus."

"With Thailand’s assurance of continued support to the Philippines’ chairmanship of the ADMM this year, the Philippine delegation thanked Thailand for its tangible contributions to the ASEAN defense sector, to include the establishment of an ASEAN Center for Military Medicine," he said. Robina Asido/DMS