By Roy Mabasa
The United States government on Thursday said it will provide $26.5 million (approximately P1.418 billion) in assistance over the next two years to enhance counterterrorism support for Philippine law enforcement agencies.
According to the US Embassy in Manila, the assistance will include training, equipment, and other support to build comprehensive law enforcement capacity within a rule of law framework to deny terrorist operations, funding, and movement.
“I am proud to announce that the United States will contribute 1.418 billion pesos over the next two years to boost counterterrorism support for Philippine law enforcement agencies,” US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim said in a message posted on his Twitter account.
The same financial assistance will also be utilized to investigate and prosecute terrorism cases and counter radicalization to violence and violent extremism.
Kim added that the joint effort to confront shared threats to the peace and security of both countries is “another powerful example of the depth and breadth of our relationship as friends, partners, and allies.”
Under the Duterte administration, the US government has extended more than P730 million assistance to support the rehabilitation of Marawi City following an attack by the Maute group in May 2017.
In a separate statement, the US Embassy said: “This support for non-military rule-of-law approaches to addressing terrorist threats will complement our sustained commitment to building the counterterrorism capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”
As a proud ally of the Philippines, the US said it will continue to provide whole-of-government support and assistance to the country’s counterterrorism efforts as both sides work together to address shared threats to the peace and security of the two countries.