The yesterday meeting between Indonesian President Jokowi and Philippines Defense Minister Gilberto Eduardo Gerardo C. Teodoro in Manila highlights the robust and enduring collaboration between the two nations in the defense sector. President Jokowi commended the trust bestowed by the Philippine government in Indonesian defense products, emphasizing the procurement of vital weapons systems (alutsista). This underscores a significant diplomatic and strategic relationship.
A key focus of their collaboration is evident in aircraft procurement. The historical context of a 38-year relationship is accentuated by the ongoing acquisition process of six NC212i aircraft from Indonesia’s PT DI, a relationship that was underscored in 2018 with the delivery of two such aircraft. President Jokowi expressed optimism in further strengthening ties, especially with plans for the Philippine Navy to acquire anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Indonesia’s offer of the CN235-220 aircraft, suitable for anti-submarine warfare missions, exemplifies the commitment to meeting the Philippines’ defense needs.
The emphasis on government-to-government (g to g) partnerships and direct contract schemes signifies a long-term commitment to sustaining this cooperation. Beyond aircraft, the collaboration extends to the procurement of ships, with a notable contract signed for two landing dock warships produced by Indonesia’s PT PAL, previously initiated in 2016 and 2017. This diversification of defense equipment underscores the comprehensive nature of their partnership.
President Jokowi’s gratitude for the Philippines’ confidence in Indonesian defense products resonates with a vision for future expansions in cooperation. The presence of key ministers, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, further underscores the high-level commitment to fostering diplomatic, economic, and defense ties between Indonesia and the Philippines.
This collaboration reflects a strategic alignment and mutual trust, laying the groundwork for continued advancements in their defense cooperation in the years ahead.