By Helen Flores
MANILA, Philippines - The United States has voiced its support for the Philippines’ counterterrorism efforts and condemned the violence perpetrated by the Maute group in Marawi City.
“These cowardly terrorists killed Philippine law enforcement officials and endangered the lives of innocent citizens,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement before the weekend.
“The US is a proud ally of the Philippines and we will continue to work with the Philippines to address shared threats to the peace and security of our countries,” he said.
Malacañang welcomed Spicer’s statement as well as Russia’s voicing a similar position on the ongoing campaign against the Maute in Marawi City.
In a related development, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced its programs in Mindanao would continue despite the region’s being placed under martial law.
“We have no indication that there is any change in programs… I at least do not know of any plans to change anything. That’s my knowledge. I can’t tell you much more than that. To the best of my knowledge nothing has changed,” US Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski told reporters on Thursday.
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