Photo from PNA.

New weapons donated by the United States to the Philippines “will aid immensely” the country’s armed forces in “ridding” the country of terrorists, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday.

“We may have been successful in counter-terrorism operations—most notably in Marawi —with ordinary munitions fitted in our legacy aircraft. But with the advent of these missiles and munitions, we are certain that they will greatly boost our campaigns and contribute to the global drive to fight and defeat terrorists,” AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

The United States gave the Philippines US$18 million worth of weapon systems: precision-guided missiles and ammunitions, as well as 100 towed two alpha missiles, 12 ITAS and 24 MK82s, to boost its anti-terrorism capabilities and address security concerns.

AFP chief General Gilbert Gabay expressed his gratitude to both Defense Departments of the US and the Philippine governments for inking the deal.

The US military has been the solid partner of the country against ISIS and other terrorists groups by offering technical assistance and enemy surveillance to Filipino troops battling terrorists.

US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien has guaranteed the Philippines that the US will always support and defend its treaty ally as part of the Mutual Defense Treaty.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. shared that the new donated weapons are “a fulfillment of a promise” made by Trump to President Rodrigo Duterte during their phone call in April this year. RJ Espartinez