Release
Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Phone Call With the Philippines Secretary of Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana

June 12, 2020

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke by phone today with his Philippine counterpart, Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana.  Secretary Esper wished Secretary Lorenzana a Happy Independence Day and reiterated his support for a strong and enduring U.S.-Philippine defense alliance. Secretary Esper expressed his support for the Philippines Government decision last week to suspend the Visiting Forces Agreement termination, and reiterated how the agreement benefits both countries. Further, Secretary Esper and Secretary Lorenzana discussed a range of regional security issues including impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the South China Sea, counter-terrorism, and the Philippines plans for military modernization. Finally, Secretary Esper stated he is looking forward to seeing Secretary Lorenzana again at the next ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting – Plus.