Security, crime, law enforcement topics of Duterte, Russian security official meeting
President Rodrigo Duterte sought closer ties with Russia in his meeting with a security official of the Russian Federation , Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Friday.
Abella said Thursday’s meeting with Nikolay Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council in Davao City, covered security, intelligence, terrorism, crime and law enforcement,
Abella said this is a “concrete example of the improving ties between the nations.”
He added Duterte’s decision “to pivot with Russia forms part of his independent foreign policy.”
“We seek new or enhanced partnerships based on equality. This new alliance will not exclude other relationships. The United States will remain an ally,” added Abella.
Duterte has espoused an independent foreign policy where the Philippines will explore closer ties with China and Russia . Duterte has gone to China and he is scheduled to visit Russia in May.
Russia invited Philippines to join database sharing system during a meeting in Davao City on Thursday.
In a statement at the Department of National Defense website, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana emphasized the importance of having access to the Russian database.
“Helpful and useful it would be if the Philippines were given access to the Russian database, specifically in relation to terrorists. This was manifested by Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana after the Russian side extended an invitation for the Philippines to join a database sharing system,” it said..
National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon requested Lorenzana to join the meeting that was attended by a Russian delegation, led by Patrushev, and composed of representatives from other agencies of the Russian Federation .
The Russian delegations are in the Philippines for consultations with the country's National Security Council.
Also attending the meeting were AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año and Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda. Undersecretary for Defense Policy Ricardo David, Undersecretary Raymundo Elefan te, Assistant Secretary Raymund Quilop,
The defense department said “within the ambit of interagency cooperation, the consultations tackled defense, military and technical cooperation.”
“Both sides expressed confidence an Agreement on Defense Cooperation would be ready for signing when President Duterte visits Russia mid this year. Meanwhile, another agreement on military-technical cooperation is being worked on by the Philippine Department of National Defense and Russia 's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation,” it stated.
“The discussions also zeroed in countering terrorism and transnational crimes with each side updating each other of their respective efforts to counter narcotic drugs and Russia manifesting that it could provide training for the Presidential Security Group in connection with VIP protection and cooperation between the two countries' law enforcement agencies as well as coastguards,” it added. Robina Asido/DMS