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EVEN BEFORE JOLO CATHEDRAL BLASTS

US has been helping Philippines fight terrorism – Lorenzana

/ 06:39 PM February 04, 2019
Balikatan 2017

Armed Forces of the Philippines and United States Marines conduct civil-military activities from the sea during the Balikatan exercises in Casiguran, Aurora province, May 15, 2017. (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The United States has been working closely with the Philippines to combat terrorism, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday.

“We got assistance from the Americans,” he said at a forum in Camp Aguinaldo when asked if foreign countries had been helping the Philippines to fight terrorism.

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According to the Defense chief, the US has a team in Mindanao and it has been helping the Philippines even before the twin bombings in Jolo last week, the death of which has risen to 23 on Monday, with about a hundred wounded.

“They helped us immediately, but they’ve been helping us track these terrorists even before the bombing,” he said.

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Aside from sharing intelligence information, the US also used its assets to fly some of the wounded troops to nearby Zamboanga City as combat operations continue on the island province.

Lorenzana said Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia had also been helping out to provide intelligence prior to the blasts.

“I think because the three countries here — Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines — we occupy just one area infested by terrorists. The so-called East Asia ISIS actually straddles the three countries, the triangle. We are all in this together and we have agreed to fight this together,” he said. /atm

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TAGS: counterterrorism, Delfin Lorenzana, Jolo twin blasts, US-Philippines relations
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