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Ground Breaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of the new Mindanao Area Police Intelligence Office at Philippine National Police Camp Catitipan, Davao
25 June 2008
Police Director Ferrer, General Calingasan, other officials of the PNP, Ladies and Gentlemen.
In recent years Philippine authorities have had significant successes in combating terrorism. Regrettably, extremist groups in Southeast Asia continue to pose a threat to our security – to the security of our region, our countries, our communities and our families.
And like all transnational crime, terrorism must be tackled not only through determined effort by law enforcement authorities at the national level, but also through international cooperation.
Australia and the Philippines have a proud record of cooperation in law enforcement and counter-terrorism. This ceremony today is a practical example of that cooperation.
It is part of a multi-million dollar project managed by the Australian Federal Police (our AFP) to help the law enforcement authorities in the Philippines develop capabilities in critical areas like intelligence sharing, analysis of post blast components and bombing techniques, forensics and other skills particularly relevant to the fight against terrorism.
This in turn is part of Australia’s wider efforts working with law enforcement agencies in our region and worldwide against terrorism and other transnational crime.
In the Philippines, the Australian Government last year concluded a 3yr(PHP 150m) project funded by the Australian Federal Police and our aid agency AusAid, which delivered outcomes in the:
- establishment of technical and surveillance capabilities;
- establishment of a comprehensive computer system for investigations such as those involving Counter Terrorism;
- and strengthening of intelligence and investigations capabilities.
In August last year the Australian Federal Police launched a further 2yr $2.1M (PHP 84m) project which is to build on the outcomes of the previous 3yr project. This funding will assist Law Enforcement Agencies with their continued fight against terrorism.
I am particularly pleased to note the close cooperation that exists between the Australian Federal Police and the Philippine National Police. This is evident in Davao where the AFP’s Manila Regional Cooperation Team (MRCT) closely liaise with the PNP intelligence agencies in this area.
The building which is to be constructed here will further enhance our relationship. I understand that the building will house the Mindanao Area Police Intelligence Office and provide facilities on the second floor for an Explosives Laboratory, bomb data centre satellite office and also provide training facilities. This no doubt will provide an integrated central coordinating location should the need arise.
I also note that the Australian Federal Police is also providing assistance to the Crime Laboratory in Ecoland and at the Philippine Public Safety College at Mintal.
Australia is pleased to be able to support the work of the PNP in these ways, in Mindanao and across the Philippines. It is a demonstration of the close friendship Australia enjoys with the Philippines, and the strong partnership between us in law enforcement and counter-terrorism.
We hope that once this facility is completed it will assist you in a direct and practical way to discharge your critical responsibilities for combating terrorism and providing for the security of your communities.
Construction of MAPIO office and fitout (Php 8.5M)
Assistance to PNP Davao Crime laboratory (Php1.9M)
Renovation of current office
Assistance to Philippine Public Safety College (Php5.97M)
Construction of new amenities block
Renovation of two classroom blocks
Supply of 200 new lecture chairs
Construction of covered walkway