Thursday, January 18, 2018
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PH open to aid from any country in fighting extremists

Ernesto Abella

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. KING RODRIGUEZ/ Presidential Photo

MANILA — The Philippines is open to accepting assistance from other countries, besides the United States, in fighting Islamic extremists in Marawi, according to President Duterte’s chief spokesman.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the fight against terrorism has become a global concern.

“The fight against terrorism… is not only the concern of the Philippines or the United States but it is a concern of many nations around the world,” Abella said.

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“The Philippines is open to assistance from other countries if they offer it,” he added.

Abella said the US military’s support in Marawi has been limited to “technical assistance” and that this was covered by protocols under the 1951 PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty.

“The United States is assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in its operations in Marawi but this is limited to technical assistance,” Abella said.

“We have standing protocols which are already in place under the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board with the US under the purview of the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951,” he added.

Abella said that the US soldiers have not been involved in the actual fighting.

“It does not involve any boots on the ground nor is there any direct participation in combat operations, a matter prohibited by law,” he added.  SFM/rga

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