DEFENSE officer in charge (OIC) Carlito Galvez Jr. praised the Malaysian government for its valuable support that enabled the safe transit of Filipinos working in Sudan.
Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said Galvez personally expressed his gratitude when newly appointed Malaysian ambassador to the Philippines Dato’ Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino bin Anthony visited the Department of National Defense (DND) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on April 25.
“Highlighting the longstanding defense relations of the two countries, DND OIC [Galvez] further expressed his deep appreciation to Malaysia for sharing valuable information on the security situation in Sudan, which contributed to the Philippine government’s repatriation of Filipinos in Sudan,” Andolong said. “Both sides committed to work closely in monitoring the developments in [the African nation] for the safety and wellbeing of affected citizens.”
Andolong shared that Galvez also thanked the Philippines’s Asean neighbor for its contribution to the Mindanao peace process.
“In response to [the DND OIC’s request for Malaysia’s continued assistance to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Ambassador Castelino assured of] Malaysia’s commitment in working toward a just and lasting peace and prosperity in the southern Philippines,” the spokesperson relayed.
According to the DND, Galvez also lauded the close diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Malaysia, as signified in the recent state visit of the latter’s prime minister Anwar Ibrahim to the Philippines in March.
Malaysia is considered one of the closest defense partners of the Philippines in the region, as both countries work together with Indonesia in a trilateral security cooperation to address common maritime security challenges.
“Furthermore, as fellow founding members of [the Southeast Asian bloc], the Philippines and Malaysia pursue practical cooperation under the Asean Defense Ministers’ Meeting and ADMM-Plus, as well as other multilateral fora based on common security interests and in support of Asean centrality,” Andolong said.
Image credits: DND/PNA