US to further help Philippine military capability: Abella
The United States has expressed its readiness to further assist the Philippines in improving its military capability.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim made the offer during his courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday in Davao City, according to Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
"H.E. ( His Excellency) Sung Kim also assured PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) that the US understands the security concerns of the Philippines and that the US is ready to provide more military equipment, assistance and training," Abella said in a statement released Monday night.
He said Duterte mentioned Philippines-US relations remain strong.
The president has expressed readiness to discuss more matters of mutual concern with the US, Abella said.
During the administration of former President Barack Obama, Duterte announced the Philippines was distancing from the US. This was after Obama and his government criticized Duterte's bloody war on illegal drugs.
But when Donald Trump assumed the US presidency, Duterte called up the new American leader and congratulated him. According to Duterte, Trump was supporting his campaign against illegal drugs. Duterte has vowed to support America, except on military matter.
Abella said Kim was "quite proud" of the defense cooperation of the two countries in terms of intelligence and information sharing, training and equipment support.
"They agreed that PH and the US have mutual interests and shared values. Both stressed that these fruitful engagements and discussions are very important in ensuring that both states are on the same page," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS