MANILA – Malacañang on Monday said the United States has committed over P300 million for intelligence gathering in order to strengthen the Philippines’ capabilities in fighting terrorism.
“We welcome the United States’ commitment in fighting terrorism. This shows that our military alliance with the United States remains strong,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
Aside from the US, Japan also committed to assist the Philippines in its anti-terrorism efforts, conveyed by Japan’s foreign minister Taro Kono during his courtesy call with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City last Saturday.
Panelo did not provide details of the pledges from the US and Japan.
He said the Philippines needed “all the help as every member-country in the United Nations needs the assistance and cooperation of each other to combat and crush terrorism.”
“Terrorism knows no boundaries, politics, religion, and creed. It is the new evil in the world that strikes at every country and every continent,” Panelo said.
The Palace’s announcement came in the wake of deadly bombings in Jolo, Sulu and Zamboanga City and Duterte’s order for the military to crush the extremist Abu Sayyaf group by all means.
Panelo said the armed forces are “relentlessly pursuing the mass murderers even as some of them have been criminally charged and presently detained.”
“We assure the nation that security for our people have been enhanced,” he said.
He also called on the people to be vigilant and report to the authorities any suspicious act by any person or group of persons in their communities that “may tend to endanger their lives, limbs and properties.” (With GMA News/PN)