US congressman vows support for PH military's counter-terrorism efforts

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 12 2022 04:46 PM

US and Filipino troops train together during their Salaknib 2022 military exercises. Spc. Joshua Oller, 28th PAD, US Army/handout
US and Filipino troops train together during their Salaknib 2022 military exercises. Spc. Joshua Oller, 28th PAD, US Army/handout

MANILA — A United States congressman has vowed to support the Philippine military’s counter-terrorism efforts, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Tuesday.

In a statement, the AFP said that a U.S. congressional delegation led by Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego visited the Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) in Zamboanga City on Monday.

Gallego, a member of U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, met with WESMINCOM officials in the latter’s headquarters.

The Democrat representative was accompanied by four other officers and staff of Special Operations Task Force 511.2, a branch of the U.S. military that supports the Philippines.

During the meeting, Gallego lauded the Philippine military’s “resolve to end terrorism and violent extremism which create worldwide peace crises.”

He also assured that the U.S. is committed to supporting the AFP, describing the Philippines as a “reliable partner.”

For his part, WESMINCOM commander Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr. thanked Gallego for personally visiting his troops to show support.

"We are deeply honored to have such supportive ally with us as we continue to journey toward peace and progress here in Mindanao," Rosario said.

Gallego’s visit came a few days after the Philippine and U.S militaries held their annual “Balikatan” exercises.

About 8,900 Filipino and American troops joined the 2-week exercises.

The Philippines and the United States remain military allies through a mutual defense treaty signed by both countries in 1951.

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