Indonesian President Joko Widodo has asked Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to buy anti-submarine aircraft from Jakarta.
Widodo shared his statement during a bilateral meeting with Marcos in Manila, where defense and border patrol issues were discussed.
No further details were mentioned as to which specific aircraft the leader is offering to hand over to the Philippines, and Marcos has yet to respond to Widodo’s proposal.
The offer comes amid rising tensions in the West Philippine Sea, where the Philippines is involved in a diplomatic row with China concerning maritime zones.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) plans to purchase four more anti-submarine choppers in the coming years to bolster its regional defense.
On Sea Sovereignty
The Philippines has recently boosted its maritime patrols in an effort to counter China’s growing presence in the area.
Last year, the country’s military began considering an overhaul on its modernization program, which has been suffering from budget constraints.
Additionally, the return of joint patrols with US troops in the South China Sea was also announced, which were previously suspended by former president Rodrigo Duterte.