February 5, 2024 (Quezon City) – Secretary of National Defense (SND) Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. met with H.E. Dr. Johann Wadephul, Member of the German Federal Parliament ("Bundestag" in German), during the latter's courtesy call at the Department of National Defense.
The two officials discussed common security challenges affecting both the Philippines and Germany, including the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and the larger South China Sea (SCS) issue, the ongoing war in Ukraine, energy security, and climate change. With regard to the WPS, Secretary Teodoro expressed appreciation for Germany's firm support to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Relatedly, Dr. Wadephul brought up Germany's policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific, which puts emphasis on promoting a rules-based international order.
Secretary Teodoro looked forward to strengthening bilateral defense relations between the Philippines and Germany, where the Department plans to establish a resident Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché (PhilDAFA) post in Berlin.
Both sides underscored sustainability and resilience in modernizing each country's armed forces, and put a premium on public-private sector synergy as one of the most effective means of cooperation. Touching on the Philippines' defense capability development priorities, the SND highlighted area denial, maritime domain awareness, air defense, and cybersecurity in the AFP modernization program.
Other matters discussed during the call include the Philippines' network of defense and security partners, ASEAN centrality in regional security, the migrant situation in Germany, diversification of energy sources amid a geopolitically volatile world, and the Philippine Government's promotion of tourism in Europe.