MANILA, Philippines — The Canadian military troops stands ready to assist the Philippines, as more and more civilians and Filipino solidiers are affected by the surviving armed conflict in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
“We stand ready to help… Normally, we would respond to a request from the government of the Philippines,” Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes told reporters in an interview.
Holmes said that Canada is already providing assistance to the Philippines through the Canadian Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross Philippines.
“In terms of our aid program, Mindanao has been our focus the last few years and continues to be our focus. We have different programs that are already operating. We continue to support Mindanao Trust Fund, this will continue in terms of tragic events,” Holmes further added.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Ambassador expressed his sympathy to the Philippines and fallen soldiers amid Marawi fighting.
“The government of Canada extends its heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of Marawi who have been affected by this horrible tragedy,” Holmes added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday, June 16, said that he will be meeting the foreign ministers and security officials of Malaysia and Indonesia here in Manila next week to deliberate enhancing cooperation in fighting against terrorism and extremism.
“We will be talking about enhanced cooperation so how we can deal with it tripartite with Indonesia and Malaysia. And how ASEAN can play a more major role in preventing the spill over from Iraq and Syria,” DFA chief said in an interview.
Former senator Allan Peter Cayetano did not give the certain date of the meeting with Malaysian and Indonesian foreign ministers and security officials, noting that it is still being organized.
“But the aim is to make it a group effort, an inter-country effort, team effort, rather than each country fending off extremism by themselves,” Cayetano said.
The DFA secretary said that Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi suggested holding the meeting and Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman immediately agreed to the proposal.
The meeting of the three ASEAN nations comes at a time of escalated fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines forces and local terrorists in Marawi City. — Velvetiere.com