MANILA, Philippines—The Indonesian government on Monday came to the aid of thousands of typhoon “Pablo” (Bopha) victims in the Visayas and Mindanao, donating $1 million and four tons of relief items through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
AFP Chief of Staff Jesse Dellosa personally received the $1 million check from Admiral Agus Suhartono, chief of the Indonesian National Defense Force, in a brief ceremony held on Monday, at Camp Panakan in Davao City.
Dellosa, in turn, handed over the donation to Director Liza Mazo, head of the Office of Civil Defense in the Davao region.
“This contribution will surely be a big help to our people who currently need aid and assistance due to the devastation brought by Typhoon Pablo,” Dellosa said in an e-mailed statement.
He thanked the Indonesian government and Suhartono for extending assistance to the typhoon victims, saying the gesture “manifests the strong, vibrant and deepening relationship between our two countries and our two armed forces.”
Besides the financial aid, the Indonesian government also gave 1,000 military blankets, 3,000 packs of ready-to-eat meals and 50 boxes of instant noodles.
Suhartono, who arrived in Davao last Sunday for a three-day official visit, also signed the terms of reference of the Joint Understanding of Philippines-Indonesia Military Cooperation.
“The signing of (this agreement) is aimed at renewing and strengthening the enduring bilateral military relationship of the two countries’ armed forces,” Dellosa said.
Suhartono also met with Lt. Gen. Jorge Segovia, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, and visited the base camp of the International Monitoring Team Site 5 in Davao City.
Malacañang bestowed the Philippine Legion of Honor to the visiting Indonesian military chief “for his strong commitment in deepening the military cooperation between the Philippines and the Indonesian military.”
The honor is the highest award that the President can give to a visiting foreign dignitary without a congressional approval.
Suhartono’s trip came a few days after General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Zulkifeli Bin Mohd Zin, chief of Defense Forces of the Malaysian Armed Forces, visited the country on Dec. 5.
By maintaining a “strong and deep bilateral military cooperation” with its neighboring nations, Dellosa said the country “can definitely achieve peace, stability and progress in the region.”
“The (AFP) is committed towards promoting and enhancing regional peace and security which is why we are undertaking these high-level visits aimed at further strengthening our bilateral relationship with other countries’ military,” the AFP chief said.
“The AFP will aim to further strengthen our bond with the Indonesian National Defense Force and the Malaysian Armed Forces.”