CLARK AIR BASE -- The People's Republic of China, through Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, on Wednesday, June 28, turned over some 50 million Yuan worth of military aid package to President Rodrigo Duterte in relation to the threat of terrorism in Marawi.
Jinhua turned over 3,000 rifles with five million ammunitions and 90 units sniper rifles with 800,000 ammunitions. The military aid package worth P590 million was delivered at the Harrison Landing Zone, Clark Freeport, on board a two-cargo Ilyushin IL76 Chinese military plane.
During his speech, Duterte said the firearms donation is one of the defense cooperation matters discussed by the People's Republic of China President Xi Jin Ping during his visit to China last October 2016, as part of the military package to the Philippines, in relation to the emerging threat of terrorism and piracy in Mindanao.
Duterte relayed his sincerest thanks to Xi Jin Ping through Jianhua for the assistance extended to the country to help in the national government's campaign against ISIS inspired terrorism in Marawi.
"This will not only strengthen our commitment to support each other in the times of need but this will highlight the dawn of a new era in Philippine-Chinese relations," the President said.
As the troops in Marawi, Duterte added, wrap up the operations against the remaining terrorists in the area, he welcomes the assistance of the China government to victims to rebuild the city with the non-interference in the state of affairs of the national government.
"I am confident that we will end this dark episode and move on in rebuilding the city back to its normal life," the President furthered.
The President stressed that for as long as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) say it is not safe, martial law will stay in Marawi. He furthered that the ISIS needs to be dealt with the same ferocity but not the same brutality.
Jianhua said that the donations of firearms of the Republic of China to the Philippines is a demonstration of the growing bilateral relationship of the two countries, and also a demonstration of friendly and cooperative relationship between our two militaries.
“Duterte's presence in this turn over ceremonies highlights great importance he attached between the bilateral relations of the two governments,” Jianhua added.
He also expressed sincere appreciation to Duterte for his friendly policy to China and cooperative policy towards China.
“The donation is not fake. It is not fake in the sense it marks a new era between two military forces of China and Philippines. I know you are fighting against Isis related terrorism, the donation of arms to the AFP will contribute the battle against Isis,” Jianhua said.
He said the 50 million yuan firearms donation is but the first batch of firearms, adding that they will deliver the second batch in the coming several months.
"Terrorism is an enemy that both China and Philippines are facing and requires two militaries joint military exercises to fight,” Jianhua said.
Aside from P15 million donation earlier that China has extended for the rehabilitation of Marawi, Jianhua announced to donate P5 million to families of the soldiers killed in battle and to wounded soldiers.
“We will help not only the fight against terrorism but also to rehabilitate and reconstruct the conflict-affected areas in Marawi. I hope the China participation in the rehabilitation of Mindanao will help the comprehensive settlement of the issue of terrorism,” Jianhua said.
"China is your good neighbor, good partner and your good relatives and China will remain so in the many years to come,” he ended. (Marna Dagumboy-Del Rosario)