By Pia Lee-Brago
MANILA, Philippines - The United States “proudly stands” with the Philippines as a longstanding ally and supports the government’s operations against the Islamic State (IS)-aligned Maute militants in Marawi City.
This was the message of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the celebration of the 119th Philippine Independence Day.
“The United States proudly stands with the Philippines as a longstanding ally, especially as the country confronts challenges associated with terrorism and extremism, including recent attacks in Marawi City and elsewhere,” Tillerson said.
“On behalf of President Trump and the American people, congratulations and best wishes to the people of the Republic of the Philippines as you commemorate your 119th Independence Day on June 12,” he said.
“We admire the resilience and strength of Filipino people in battling adversity and building a more prosperous and secure future,” Tillerson added.
The secretary said the US honors “the enduring US-Philippine alliance, built on our shared democratic values, growing commerce and strong people-to-people ties.”
US Ambassador Sung Kim, meanwhile, said the Philippine government knew of Washington’s military assistance in Marawi City, despite President Duterte’s claim that he was unaware of the arrangement.
Read the full story at PhilStar