OCD clarifies false info on 'arrival' of US, French military equipment

OCD clarifies false info on ‘arrival’ of US, French military equipment

By: - Reporter /
/ 02:30 PM April 02, 2024

WAR GAMES PREP American soldiers prepare missiles for the Avenger air defense system, a self-propelled surface-to-air missile system, during a live-fire demonstration in this year’s Philippine-US “Balikatan” military exercises in San Antonio, Zambales, on Tuesday. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

WAR GAMES PREP American soldiers prepare missiles for the Avenger air defense system, a self-propelled surface-to-air missile system, during a live-fire demonstration of Philippine-US ‘Balikatan’ military exercises in San Antonio, Zambales. —File photo from MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) on Tuesday denied the veracity of reports linking its chief Ariel Nepomuceno to the reported arrival in the country of military equipment from the United States (US) and France.

A YouTube video report citing Nepomuceno claimed that “400 containers of US and French military equipment” arrived in Subic, Zambales for the upcoming annual war games between Manila and Washington.

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The OCD said in a statement, “No statement was issued by him or the agency regarding the matter, considering that it is not within its purview.”

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The OCD is under the Department of National Defense (DND), but its main task is to oversee the national civil defense and disaster mitigation program of the government.

READ: PH, France begin talks on visiting forces deal— Teodoro

The report also erroneously stated that Nepomuceno is the commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps.

Meanwhile, the OCD said the DND has yet to confirm or deny the reported delivery of hundreds of containers of such equipment for this year’s Balikatan.

The Philippines, United States and France will conduct drills in the West Philippine Sea this month as part of the Balikatan.

READ: Philippine, US, French navies to sail in West PH Sea for Balikatan

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The Philippines has a visiting forces agreement with the US, which is the basis of Balikatan.

While the visiting forces deal with France is still in the works, Paris can, nevertheless, join such drills since it will be conducted outside the territorial waters of 12 nautical miles, according to Col. Michael Logico, Balikatan exercise’s executive agent.

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