SAF Assistance Offered to the Philippines for Counter-Terrorism
Arising from the meeting between Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and the Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana yesterday, Singapore has affirmed its readiness to support the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in its campaign against terrorists in the southern Philippines. While the AFP is confident that Marawi will be secured from terrorists soon, further concerted efforts are required to ensure that other terrorist cells do not entrench themselves in the southern Philippines, as this would cause instability to the rest of ASEAN. ISIS-linked groups have already stated their goal to attack cities within ASEAN to form a caliphate.
To counter the threat of terrorism together, Dr Ng offered the SAF’s assistance – a Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 transport aircraft to deliver humanitarian supplies to the evacuees from Marawi; use of the SAF’s urban training villages for the AFP troops, and a detachment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to enhance the AFP’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. Secretary Lorenzana expressed his appreciation and in-principle acceptance of the offer from Singapore.
Dr Ng’s visit underscores the warm and friendly defence relationship between Singapore and the Philippines. Both countries’ armed forces interact regularly through visits, professional exchanges, cross-attendance of courses, and multilateral exercises such as Exercise Coordinated Response in January 2017, which was the first multinational Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise hosted by the Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre.
Source: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MINDEF)