No Australian forces to join Filipino troops on the ground: Abella
Malacanang on Sunday assured the public that Australian soldiers deployed in the Philippines will not engaged with government troops on the ground.
"The sending of Australian Defence Force members to assist our military forces forms part of the offer of Australia to train the Armed Forces of the Philippines," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
He clarified that "such trainings will be limited within the confines of our military bases. These and other joint military exercises with Australia will not involve any boots on the ground in accordance with our law prohibiting the direct participation of foreign troops in combat operations."
He added the Australia has been providing assistance through their P3 Orion aircraft in the on-going battale against the Daesh-inspired Maute Group in Marawi.
"Their assistance helps us increase our situational awareness of the battlefield and helps save lives," he said.
Abella reiterated that the fight against terrorism is not only a concern of the Philippines but a concern of many nations around the world.
"The Philippines has on many occasions expressed its willingness to work with other countries in the fight against the evil brought about by terrorism," he said.
Last Saturday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also expressed hope the support of the Australian government against terrorism in the Philippines may be implemented by the coming months.
"We’ve been training with them (ADF) for so many years already but this surge that the minster mentioned a while ago is actually to support our efforts against the terrorists… and hopefully next month during the (ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting) ADMM Plus we will be able to see if we can, if this can be implemented on the ground," he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS