By Roy Ramos
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines
Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday welcomed Singapore’s offer to assist in the fight against the Daesh-linked Maute group in Marawi.
Lorenzana said the Philippines could rely on Singapore’s support because the challenge posed by violent extremism concerns all countries in southeast Asia.
In addition to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support, “Singapore’s provision of C-130 to help transport supplies and provision of training regarding building up cities are things the Armed Forces of the Philippines could readily avail of,” Lorenzana said in a statement after meeting Singapore’s defense minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen.
The Philippines and Singapore belong to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Philippines chairs ASEAN for 2017 and will pass the leadership to Singapore next year.
Cooperation between the two countries, according to Lorenzana, is a best practice that can be emulated by succeeding chairs of the regional bloc.