THE United States government has vowed to give the Philippine government a $32-million grant for its law enforcement training and services, a Palace official said on Wednesday.

In a news briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that US Secretary of State John Kerry committed $32 million in training and services in his courtesy call to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Basically, it will come in the form of training and stuff [for] law enforcement,” Abella said.

Abella said Kerry and Duterte also affirmed “the long-standing relationship between the two countries.”

At present, there are four million Filipinos in the US while at least 500 American nationals are residing in the Philippines.

With respect to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, Abella echoed Kerry’s statement that “whatever works with the Philippines will be, that will work.”

The President, Abella said, also mentioned to Kerry that in terms of the Philippines’ dialogue with China over the international court’s decision on the disputed South China Sea, it “will begin with the ruling.”

“That will be the foundation – the [Permanent Court of Arbitration's] ruling regarding the area,” Abella said.

Abella also said that the two discussed common concerns such as terrorism, crime, drugs, religious fanaticism, and maritime security.

“In relation to this, they also mentioned a menu of solutions [to address those problems],” he said.

He added that Kerry expressed “no alarm” when Duterte told him about how he is handling the war against crime, especially the narcotic plague.

Abella said that Kerry also opened up about the Paris agreement on climate change, which the President said he would not honor unless its significance would be made clear.

“They also touched on climate change. And Mr. Kerry was very helpful in defining certain issues about the Paris pact. And the President also responded appropriately and he said that the Philippines will work out, just as long as everything is fair,” Abella said. (Sunnex)