Palace welcomes Australia's help in training AFP troops

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2017 05:00 PM

MANILA- Malacañang on Wednesday said the Philippines welcomes Australia's help in training troops battling for the Islamic City of Marawi.

"The offer of Australia to train the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is most welcome. The fight against terrorism to reiterate -- is not only the concern of the Philippines, but it is a concern of many nations around the world," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.

Julie Bishop, Australia’s foreign minister, said she made the offer during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this month as part of Canberra's fight against terrorism.

Abella however clarified that while the Philippines is willing to accept assistance from other countries, help should be limited only to technical matters, training, information gathering and sharing.

"It will not involve any boots on the ground in accordance to our law prohibiting the direct participation of foreign troops in combat operations," he said.

Military troops are currently thick in battle against Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Marawi City.

Aside from Australia, United States personnel also provided the AFP with "technical support" on surveillance and information gathering in Marawi City.

The battle, which marks its 100th day on Wednesday has claimed nearly 800 lives, mostly terror suspects.