CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City—The Armed Forces of the Philippines will host the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ top military officers in a series of high-level meetings starting Monday, 15 May 2017.

AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said that the heads of militaries from the 10 ASEAN member states are expected to attend the ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM) on 17 to 19 May.

“The heads of delegation will be joined by senior operations and intelligence officers who will be attending the Military Operations and Military Intelligence Informal Meetings,” Col Arevalo said.

“The ACDFIM, and operations and intelligence meetings are annual events intended to provide an opportunity to discuss and assess in a very strategic, comprehensive, positive and productive manner all prominent issues and concerns of mutual interests,”  Col Arevalo disclosed.

“It encourages common perspectives and understanding for promoting and fostering strong relationships and security cooperation in the region. It will have high-level discussions on common concerns that were raised in the ASEAN Summit and Defense Ministers’ meetings,” Col Arevalo added.

Military Operations and Military Intelligence Informal Meetings are complementary to the ACDFIM and seek to build capacity and strengthen cooperation among ASEAN militaries in addressing common security challenges.

Issues such us maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, counter-terrorism, infectious disease management, and peacekeeping are expected to be discussed in the five-day gathering.

The hosting and leadership of these meetings were aligned to the ASEAN Chairmanship, which the Philippines is currently holding.

AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año will lead the AFP’s delegation to the meetings.

“The meetings will bolster the ASEAN militaries’ collective experience and resolve to combat modern global security challenges; and ensure that we are on the same page in our approaches to threats such as piracy and terrorism,” General Año said.

 “Our hosting of these events is also timely in our hopes to cement our position in the ASEAN as a global partner and fully capable military, responsive to local and regional issues through consistent cooperation and innovation,” General Año added.