By Pia Lee-Brago
MANILA, Philippines - As American forces continued to assist the Philippine military in the campaign to end the Marawi siege by militants, US Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift concluded his three-day visit yesterday with a renewed commitment to strengthen his country’s defense and counterterrorism partnership with the Philippines.
“I’m very pleased to have had the opportunity to visit with senior government and military leaders here in Manila. We continue to build on the strong relationship we have and to reaffirm our commitment to working together to face shared challenges,” Swift said.
During his visit, Swift met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Eduardo Año and Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Adm. Ronald Mercado.
“The Philippine Navy is a valued and enduring ally of the US Navy and a close partner of the Pacific Fleet,” he said.
The long-standing alliance between the Philippines and the US, he stressed, has contributed to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 70 years.
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