By Genalyn D. Kabiling
The United States has pledged to continue supporting the Philippines in the areas of maritime security, law enforcement, development aid to Mindanao, among others.
The assurance was relayed by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim in a “very productive” meeting with President Duterte in Davao City last Sunday, according to Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.
“He reiterated the commitment of the US to the bilateral relationship with the Philippines which he described as ‘solid,’” Abella said.
“Citing cooperation in law enforcement, Ambassador Sung Kim stressed that the US will continue to provide support, including intelligence exchange and in maritime security,” Abella said.
Abella added that the US ambassador likewise discussed US-Philippines military cooperation, particularly in the fight against terrorism, and the extent of US assistance to Mindanao.
The President’s meeting with the US envoy was held shortly after leading the launch of the country’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Davao City.
“It was a very productive meeting marked by an open exchange of ideas,” he added.
Abella recently said the Philippine government looks forward to a better relationship with the administration of US President-elect DonaldTrump, citing the mutual respect between Duterte and the incoming US President.
Duterte’s friendly relation with Trump contrasts his hostility towards outgoing US President Barack Obama who raised human rights concerns and the relentless war on drugs.