Philippines Receives $7.3 Million in Arms From China for Fight in Marawi

Published June 29th, 2017 - 12:01 GMT
More than 230,000 residents have been displaced and at least 390 people, mostly militants, have been killed in Marawi since May 23, 2017. (AFP)
More than 230,000 residents have been displaced and at least 390 people, mostly militants, have been killed in Marawi since May 23, 2017. (AFP)

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday accepted 3,000 rifles and 6 million pieces of ammunition from China in a ceremony at Clark Air Base in Pampanga.

Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana told GMA news the arms are worth 370 million pesos ($7.3 million).

The move is a demonstration of the “new era of friendly and cooperative relationship” between the militaries of both countries, according to Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, who said it was only the first batch of donations and another set would be delivered in the coming months.

"The donation of arms to the armed forces of the Philippines will contribute to the success in your battle against ISIS-related terrorists,” he said. “The Chinese government and military forces will continue to firmly support your fight against terrorism," Zhao said.

He spoke alongside Duterte who thanked China for the package.

Duterte said the donation was a result of two deals worth 590 million pesos ($11.7 million) of military equipment to help fight the Daesh-linked terrorists in Marawi known as the Maute group.

Duterte told reporters the military aid would have to be inventoried and would be equally divided as needed to the military and the police.

China donated 15 million pesos ($297,000) a day earlier to help rehabilitate Marawi.

Zhao also announced Wednesday that China would donate 5 million pesos ($99,000) to the families of soldiers killed in Marawi.

Meanwhile, government troops recovered 10 Indonesian passports from a former Maute hideout in the besieged Marawi.

A spokesman for the Joint Task Force Marawi told GMA news there were no reports of foreign hostages held by the militants.

There were reports of Indonesian terrorists fighting along the Maute group.

GMA said photographs of the suspected Indonesian nationals who are believed to be fighting in Marawi, and includes a woman, have been provided by Indonesian counterparts

The fighting in Marawi began May 23 is yet to end. More than 230,000 residents have been displaced and at least 390 people, mostly militants, have been killed.

By Roy Ramos
 

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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