Malacañang on Thursday labeled the bill filed in the US Congress seeking the suspension of American aid to Philippine military and police forces as a “very wild suggestion,” considering the two countries’ close ties.

Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania introduced the Philippine Human Rights Act to US Congress, seeking to “suspend the provision of security assistance to the Philippines until the government of the Philippines has made certain reforms to the military and police forces, and for other purposes.”

Wild’s bill was a “very wild” suggestion, according to Palace spokesman Harry Roque.

He also said the Philippines and US have maintained strong bilateral ties.

“That’s a very wild suggestion. Kampante po kami na ang state department naman po at ang administration ni [US President Donald Trump], dahil sa malapit na pagkakaibigan ng ating presidente kay President Trump, ay nakikita ang halaga ng patuloy na kooperasyon sa parte po ng Estados Unidos at ng Pilipinas,” he said in a virtual presser held in Malacañang.

From 2016 to 2019, US provided the Philippines with military assistance amounting to $554 million, including $267 million in foreign military financing for the acquisition of defense articles, according to a Stratbase ADR Institute for Strategic and International Studies research.

“Alam naman po ninyo, parang dito sa Pilipinas ‘no kahit sino naman pong kongresista ay pupuwedeng maghain ng panukalang batas, pero ang chances na iyong panukalang batas po na maisabatas po ay napakalliit po. So hayaan na po natin iyan, iyan po ay personal opinion ni Congresswoman Wild, which is a very wild idea,” Roque added.

Wild decried the Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Law, saying it was a measure “to ramp up efforts targeting labor organizers, workers, and political opponents.”

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a principal sponsor of the law, said both the Philippines and US would incur losses if the measure gets approved.

“If adopted and approved, it will not only be our loss but theirs as well considering that a major part of the security assistance being extended to the Philippines is used to combat terrorism which knows no borders nor timing, and they know that for a fact,” Lacson said in a statement. John Ezekiel J. Hirro