MALACAÑANG assured Sunday that Australian forces who will be deployed in the Philippines will not join the Filipino soldiers in their combat operations in Marawi City.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the sending of Australian Defense Force (ADF) members to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) forms part of the offer of Australia to train the Filipino soldiers.
"Such training will be limited within the confines of our military bases. These and other joint military exercises with Australia will not involve any boots on the ground in accordance with our law prohibiting the direct participation of foreign troops in combat operations," he said in a statement.
Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne has announced that small teams of Australian soldiers would be sent to the Philippines to help local troops on their fight against the Islamic State-inspired Maute terrorists in Marawi.
She has said Australia is very committed to supporting the Philippines in its efforts to defend itself against terrorist threats.
She said the militants in southern Philippines is a threat not only to the Philippines but to the region, thus, everyone should work together to defeat them.
Aside from the deployment of forces, Australia has been providing technical assistance through its P3 Orion aircraft in the ongoing battle against the terrorists still holed up in Marawi, Abella said.
"Their assistance helps us increase our situational awareness of the battlefield and help save lives," he said. (SDR/SunStar Philippines)