Duterte thanks Israel for aid to end Marawi crisis
President Rodrigo Duterte has thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Israel's assistance to end the Marawi crisis last year.
In his brief statement during the signing of three agreements between the two countries, Duterte said the government's fight against the Maute-ISIS terrorists who occupied Marawi for about five months last year could have dragged on were it not for the "very substantial and crucial equipment" that Israel provided to the Philippines.
He refused, however, to specifically cite such assistance.
"But it was a help to preserve the Republic (of the) Philippines and I thank you for that," he said.
During the event, Duterte and Netanyahu witnessed the signing of the three agreements between the two countries.
These include the memorandum of agreement on the temporary employment of home-based Filipino caregivers; memorandum of understanding on scientific cooperation; and memorandum of intent on the collaboration on promotion of bilateral direct investment.
Netanyahu, for his part, acknowledged the contribution of the Filipino care workers to the Israeli elderly.
He said that his family was one of those who has received the help from a Filipino caregiver.
The prime minister said his father, who died at the age of 102, was taken care of a Filipina caregiver, who has "exceptional compassion and intelligence."
"She took care of my father’s every need. And when he passed away, she took care of his brother’s niece until he passed away. I, like many, many Israeli families, have deeply moved by this show of humanity," he said.
"This is an exceptional agreement and I think heralds the kind of friendship that we are developing," Netanyahu added. Celerina Monte/DMS