MANILA- Canada's assistance to Mindanao will continue amid the war in Marawi and the declaration of martial law in the region, an official said.
Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes said Canada "stands ready to help" as he conveyed his government and people's condolences to the government and people in Marawi after terrorists attacked the Islamic city.
"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 in Mindanao and one of them.. is we continue to contribute to the Mindanao trust fund. So that will continue," he said in an interview.
Members of local extremist groups Abu Sayyaf and Maute attacked Marawi last May 23, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to put Mindanao under military rule.
The clashes, which are now on its 4th week, have left thousands displaced and hundreds killed.
Holmes said Canada continues to contribute to the Mindanao trust fund while other programs are ongoing as well. He also noted that Canada is ready to provide humanitarian assistance upon the Philippine government's request
"We stand ready to help. Normally in terms of assistance, after a humanitarian or in this case a person-made disaster, we wait for instructions and request from the government of the Philippines," he said.
Holmes also said Canada is ready to work with the Philippines and offer assistance in fighting terrorism in terms of capacity building and information exchange.
"We stand ready to work with the Philippines in that regard. We don't normally... we wouldn't be sending troops or anything like that but we do capacity building, exchanges of information, things like that. That's been ongoing," he said.