National Security Adviser and Director General of the National Security Council Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr., led a high-level interagency delegation in talks with top Russian security officials held Friday in Moscow.
Esperon and his Russian counterpart, Secretary Nikolay P. Patrushev of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, noted that the Philippines-Russia security relations are moving on the right track following the conclusion last year of key framework agreements on security, defense, military-technical, law enforcement, and legal cooperation.
“Our security relations have indeed grown since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte decided to elevate Russia to become one of our important bilateral partners. Much has been achieved in the past two years, but there is still so much room for growth. We see more avenues for enhanced security cooperation between our military and law enforcement agencies,” Esperon stressed.
At the second NSC-SCRF consultations, the Philippines and Russia reaffirmed their mutual interest in strengthening cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, drug-trafficking, transnational crimes, and cybercrimes, among others.
Both countries, Esperon said, are committed to pursue regular dialogue at the senior official and technical level, information and database-sharing, as well as training and other capacity-building activities. They likewise exchanged views on regional and international issues.
“The Philippines is interested in looking at Russian defense technologies for its security agencies. Russia is known for its high quality yet relatively affordable equipment. It can be a reliable partner in this regard,” Esperon added.
Esperon, was joined by National Defense Undersecretary Cesar B. Yano, Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Bernardo C. Florece Jr., Justice Undersecretary Antonio T. Kho Jr., National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director General Alex Paul I. Monteagudo, Philippine Coast Guard Admiral Elson Hermogino, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Officer-in-Charge Ruel M. Lasala, Philippine National Police Chief Superintendent Ma.O R. Aplasca, and Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos D. Sorreta.
“Secretary Esperon’s visit to Moscow comes immediately after Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano early this week. That two top Cabinet Secretaries, accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, trooped to Moscow in succession within a span of one week is a strong indication that the Philippines is indeed serious in engaging Russia. We will continue to work hard to facilitate the implementation of agreements,” Sorreta said.
Esperon noted that Friday’s talks followed up on the first NSC-SCRF Consultations held in Davao City on Feb. 15 to 17, 2017.