The United States handed over to the Philippines Monday a package of precision-guided missiles, munitions, and other military assets and systems as part of its commitment to help the country boost its capability in fighting terrorism, especially in Mindanao.
US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien officially turned over the military systems to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. during a formal ceremony at the DFA main office in Pasay City.
“This transfer underscores our strong and enduring commitment to our critical alliance. We hope these precision-guided missiles and munitions will help the AFP protect Philippine lives in Mindanao and end the needless suffering imposed by ISIS-East Asia,” O’Brien said in his remarks.
The defense packahe has been delivered to the Philippines and is composed of precision-guided missiles and munitions, including 100 TOW-2A missiles, 12 ITAS, and 24 MK-82s.
O’Brien said he was present when President Trump and President Duterte spoke over the phone about the fight against terrorism that the Philippines is waging against the ISIS-affiliated groups in Mindanao.
“Now, President Trump is standing with President Duterte as we combat ISIS here in Southeast Asia,” the US official said as he narrated their own battle against terrorism in the Middle East, that led to the “100 percent” dismantling of the physical caliphate and daring nighttime raid against ISIS founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
O’Brien also handed over to Locsin a letter from Trump to Duterte.
Among those who graced the turnover were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay.