Australia's help to boost capability of military in going after terrorists - AFP
Australia's offer of assistance to the Philippines could boost the military's capability in going after the terrorists, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Friday.
"In every military operation, the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability is very important," said Gilbert Gapay, deputy commander of Armed Forces of the Philippines' Eastern Mindanao Command and chief martial law spokesman for Mindanao.
"So having these capabilities, it could be used in any military operation, not just Marawi, but of course in all other operations in Mindanao," he added.
In a statement, Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said the Philippines has accepted the government's offer of two Australian Defence Force AP-3C Orion aircraft to provide surveillance support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Australia condemned the attack of the Islamic State-linked Maute Terror Group in Marawi City.
Gapay said he did not know when the Australian surveillance aircraft would be deployed in the Philippines.
"I really don’t have the information right now, but it is a welcome development to boost our capability in as far ISR is concerned," he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella reiterated his earlier statement that the government would gladly welcome any form of foreign assistance allowed under the Constitution to help suppress the rebellion in Marawi.
"Our defense officials are in close coordination with their Australian counterparts in the latter’s offer of providing surveillance support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines," he said.
The United States has also been extending technical assistance to the Philippines as it also dispatched a surveillance aircraft in Marawi. Celerina Monte/DMS