RP-India navy ties



Foreign intimidation in our own maritime borders remains a pressing security concern for the entire nation. This threat to national security gives birth to even greater challenges to national economy, peace and stability. It is, however, good to note that our government has come to recognize the importance of establishing strong links with foreign defense forces, particularly with countries whose stakes in Asian maritime peace and cooperation are as crucial as that of the Philippines. 

In the recent months, our naval and air forces have conducted joint training with the United States, Japan, and Australia. These multilateral maritime cooperative activities not only enhance our country’s defense capabilities but I believe likewise impress upon our aggressors that the Philippines will not be intimidated nor strained within its own boundaries. 

Last Sunday (May 19, 2024), three Indian naval vessels that are part of the Indian Navy Eastern Fleet docked at the South Harbor in Manila for a four-day visit which aims to strengthen military cooperation between India and the Philippines. Fleet tanker INS Shakti, anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kiltan, and guided missile destroyer INS Delhi are on Philippine waters as part of India’s regular naval exercises with friendly countries. India has regularly conducted naval exercises with other countries in the Indo-Pacific Region to help address shared challenges to maritime peace, security and cooperation. At the heart of India’s special visit to the Philippines is the Maritime Partnership Exercise for valuable inputs on maritime defense, crisis management and response, and strategic interoperability. 

PH-India diplomatic ties began as early as 1949. For more than seven decades, both countries have preserved peace, cooperation, defense and security, business and trade, among several other links that have been mutually beneficial. Like the Philippines, India also expresses discomfort in China’s increasing assertive behavior in the region, jeopardizing time-cherished peace and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. India is likewise one the countries comprising the Indo-Pacific Quad together with the United States, Japan and Australia which, as we have previously mentioned, have also engaged the Philippines in a number of joint military exercises.

The presence of Indian Navy Forces in the country, while only limited to collaborative defense training, affirms our commitment to the regionally shared agenda for cooperation and stability. The shifting peace and security landscape in the Asia-Pacific Region prompts countries at risk, including the Philippines, to establish alliances not only for economic growth and development but more so for strategic defense cooperation. PH-India security partnership, in many ways, fortifies our stance at the edge of our maritime borders. It is a statement for aggressors that we continue to establish and strengthen foreign relations, respect and uphold international law and actively assert our territory, sovereignty and national identity.