MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) successfully completed their Maritime Cooperative Activity (MCA) on Monday.
The three-day activity, which featured exercises in the country's exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea, was participated in by Philippine Navy vessels BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Davao Del Sur; Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba; Philippine Air Force's A29B Super Tucano and N-22 Nomad; Philippine Navy's BNI2A aircraft; and Royal Australian Air Force's P-8A maritime surveillance aircraft.
“The Maritime Cooperative Activity highlights our shared commitment to exercising freedom of navigation and overflight consistent with international law, in support of a peaceful, secure and stable Indo-Pacific,” read a joint statement by Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles issued prior to the MCA.
“Australia and the Philippines both support the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and reaffirm the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal Award as final and legally binding on both parties. (PR/PNA)