• The Philippine Marines has received P178-M worth of counter-terrorism equipment from the US
  • The donation was turned over to the Marine Special Operations Group
  • The US military also vowed to continue supporting the country’s AFP modernization program

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Marines has received P178-M worth of counter-terrorism equipment and gears from the United States government; this was according to a statement from the US Embassy in Manila on Wednesday, June 6.

The donation was made to the Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG) and Inshore Boat Battalion and the turnover was held at the Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City last May 31 through the Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program.

“The 525 sets of ballistic vests, lightweight ballistic plates, tactical ballistic helmets, and accessories provided through the Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program are valued at PhP 178 million ($3.4 million),” the statement read.

US-PH 2018 Balikatan| Image from U.S. Embassy, Manila Philippines Facebook page

The latest military assistance from the US, the country’s long-time ally in the Asia-Pacific region, came amid China’s continued militarization of the West Philippine Sea and just weeks after the recently-concluded annual joint military exercises between the American and Filipino troops.

It is expected to “to provide increased protection for personnel conducting counterterrorism operations, as well as operations against transnational threats, specifically in the southern Philippines,” the embassy added.

The US military likewise assured its continued support for the country’s modernization program of its Armed Forces which was has seen major progress due to the efforts of the Aquino administration.