MANILA, Philippines – Foreign governments have donated around P2.1 billion for the Marawi conflict, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Friday, September 15.
In a Malacañang press conference, Lorenzana listed the donations of foreign countries to the Philippine government, topped by Australia with a P1-billion donation.
Here is a breakdown of the foreign assistance:
- Australia – P1 billion
- United States – P730 million
- Japan – P100 million
- Thailand – P100 million
- China – P85 million
- European Union – P49 million
Lorenzana said that of the P85 million from China, P70 million is intended specifically for the medical treatment of soldiers injured in Marawi.
He said Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua turned over P65 million of the amount to Armed Forces chief General Eduardo Año in the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, September 13, in Malacañang.
The defense chief did not include in the list China’s donation of P370 million worth of rifles and ammunition.
Although intended for use in Marawi, all the firearms were given to the Philippine National Police instead.
“It was the decision of the President because he knows the police lack long firearms. And another thing is, we have sufficient firearms in the Armed Forces,” said Lorenzana.
Some of the Chinese-made rifles may have been used in Marawi by “two companies or a battalion” of the police’s Special Action Force deployed to the besieged city, he added.
The quality of the rifles was not a factor in the decision to give them to the police.
“We tested some before giving them to the police and the verdict is they are good firearms,” said Lorenzana.
The US also provided “technical assistance” for troops in Marawi. – Rappler.com