MANILA, Philippines, July 5 (UPI) -- The United States is offering the Philippines P-3C Orions to patrol the South China Sea.
The initial offer to deploy the P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft was made by U.S. Pacific Command head Adm. Samuel Locklear in August 2011.
Five months later Filipino Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters Manila was reviewing the proposal, as it would strengthen the Philippines' ability to guard its vast territory, including the West Philippine Sea, stating: "There would be stability in the region, that we would have enough deterrent. Without a deterrent force, we can be easily pushed around, our territories will be violated. Now that we have a good neighbor on the block, we can no longer be bullied," ABS-CBN news agency reported Wednesday.
Gazmin added security talks have been ongoing between Manila and Washington over the proposal, which includes the possible deployment of more U.S. ships and aircraft in the region, but remarked the discussions do not as yet include new U.S. military bases in the Philippines.