Unspoken peace pact forms as countries aid PH
by FFE PH News staff
Friendship is not just about the good times. Friendship is also about the bad times, too’, said Australian defence attaché lieutenant colonel Paul Barta on Thursday, referring to the presence of 16 armed forces currently working together for the joint relief efforts being delivered to typhoon Yolanda survivors.
The Multinational Co-ordinating Council (MNCC) teams up the Philippine government with 15 foreign armed forces from Australia, United States, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Sweden, Vietnam, South Korea, New Zealand, Spain, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel.
China, which has the world’s most capable military, is set to join the MNCC as it sends its Chinese Navy hospital ship Peace Ark for relief missions in the Philippines. The Peace Ark is considered the first Chinese Navy ship to be given consent by the Philippine government to enter the country’s waters since the dispute over the West Philippine Sea erupted.
Defense undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino said ‘We will welcome all the support that we will be getting, specifically for the MNCC, all the military support.’
According to the undersecretary, the MNCC was created on 16 November to ‘coordinate and synchronise military-to-military operations between member countries along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).’ It is the first time the AFP will be working alongside foreign military for a humanitarian cause.