By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang welcomed the commitment of the United States government to provide the Philippines P300 million to improve the country’s intelligence gathering capabilities.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the commitment was proof of the good ties between the allied countries.
“We welcome the United States’ commitment in fighting terrorism. This shows that our military alliance with the United States remains strong,” he said.
In its latest quarterly report on the Philippines, the US Defense Department said it was helping the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) gather intelligence on terror groups in the country.
In his statement, Panelo said the government was accepting all the help and funding it could get to fight terrorists, saying terrorism knew no boundaries, politics, religion, and creed.
“It is the new evil in the world that strikes at every country and every continent. We need all the help as every member-country in the United Nations needs the assistance and cooperation of each other to combat and crush terrorism,” he said.
In Mindanao, Panelo said, terrorists have gained a foothold and have unleashed bombs that killed soldiers and civilians. However, he said the people will not allow terrorism to rule over them.
“While the terroristic acts have created fear and anxiety in the inhabitants of the region, they however refused to be intimidated and cowed as they exercised their right of suffrage in the just concluded plebiscite,” he said.
“Our armed forces are relentlessly pursuing the mass murderers even as some of them have been criminally charged and presently detained,” he added.
He also assured the public that security in the country will be enhanced. He likewise asked the people to remain vigilant at all times.
“We assure the nation that security for our people have been enhanced. We call our 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,” Panelo said.