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Lorenzana welcomes Singapore's help in the fight vs. Maute, rebuild of Marawi

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana welcomed Wednesday Singapore's offer to provide assistance to the Philippines in its fight against local terror group Maute and in the rehabilitation of Marawi City.

"Singapore's provision of C-130 to help transport supplies and provision of training regarding building up cities are things the AFP could readily avail of," Lorenzana said in a press statement a day after his meeting with Singapore's defense minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen.

He said Ng told him that the Philippines could count on the support of Singapore in its fight against the Maute-ISIS in Marawi.

He said this is because the challenge posed by violent extremism is a problem for all in the region.

He said Ng offered to provide assistance for ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance), transport of supplies for the rehabilitation of Marawi, and training relative to built up cities.

Singapore also offered the utilization of its HA/DR Center to galvanize foreign contributions for the reconstruction of Marawi.

"Originally put up to coordinate foreign assistance to Southeast Asian countries devastated by natural calamities, Minister Ng said that the center could likewise be used for Marawi's rehabiliation," said Lorenzana.

He said he already instructed the AFP to examine the ISR capabilities that Singapore is ready to provide.

During the meeting, both officials expressed their respective support of each other's chairmanship of ASEAN.

The Philippines is the chairman of ASEAN for 2017, which it will pass on to Singapore next year.

Lorenzana acknowledged that coordination between the current and incoming chairpersons, like what the Philippines and Singapore are doing, is a best practice that can be emulated by succeeding chairs of ASEAN. —KG/KVD, GMA News