THE Philippines-Brunei bilateral relations received a boost with the recent three-day official visit to the Sultanate of Philippine National Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, that sought to reaffirm and move forward bilateral defense relations with the Islamic Sultanate.
Lorenzana was accompanied by Philippine Ambassador-designate to Brunei Darussalam Marian Jocelyn R. Tirol-Ignacio during his call with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
During the call, the Philippines extended its appreciation to His Majesty for the active involvement of Brunei Darussalam in the International Monitoring Team (IMT) and the International Decommissioning Body (IDB) in the Philippines.
The Philippines apprised His Majesty of the gains achieved by the Philippines in the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in 2019.
Lorenzana also met with Minister of Defence II Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof.
Both sides identified key initiatives for bolstering the close defense relations between the Philippines and Brunei, and discussed current initiatives in ASEAN to forward the regional security agenda with a focus on natural disaster response and post-pandemic recovery. By CRISTINA LEE-PISCO