Philippine military, US military in Pacific commanders meeting first time

United States Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris will be meeting with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff General Hernando DCA Iriberri on Wednesday, this was confirmed by AFP public affairs office chief Colonel Noel Detoyato.

The meeting will be the first between General Iriberri and Admiral Harris. Colonel Detoyato noted that Harris will be given full military honors during his visit at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The American Admiral’s visit comes in the wake of growing American concerns over ongoing Chinese reclamation and construction activities at the West Philippine Sea.

Detoyato said that Harris and Iriberri will “discuss important matters”, however, he did not provide further details.

When asked about the US official’s pending visit to the Western Command headquarters in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Detoyato replied “he will be going to Palawan but the particular topic is just bilateral security concerns.”

The AFP public affairs office chief stressed that the visit is official in nature as Harris also intends to visit other Filipino government officials and discuss bilateral security concerns with the Philippines.

Admiral Harris assumed command of the U.S. Pacific Command May 2015.