AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BOOSTS PHILIPPINE CAPACITY TO COMBAT TERRORISM AND IMPROVE SECURITY
The Australian Government has provided Philippine law enforcement agencies in Mindanao with new facilities including a bomb data centre and forensic explosives laboratory to further assist the Philippines combat terrorism and improve security.
Australian Ambassador Rod Smith officially handed over the newly-constructed Mindanao Area Police Intelligence Office (MAPIO) to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Verzosa in Camp Catitipan, Davao, on Thursday, 29 January.
The MAPIO opening photo has PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa cutting ribbon (far left) and PNP Director Intelligence Dante Ferrer (standing far right)
The new building in Camp Catitipan will also house a new Forensic Explosives Laboratory and Bomb Data Centre. These facilities and the MAPIO will complement existing Australian Government-funded facilities in Manila to provide an integrated central coordinating capability.
Ambassador Smith also joined Philippine Public Safety College President Dr Margarita Ting Ting Cojuangco at the inauguration of newly constructed and renovated training facilities at the Philippine Public Safety College in Davao. Funded by Australia, the renovated facilities will assist in the education and training of PNP personnel and other uniformed services of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
“The Australian Government, through the Australian Federal Police, has been working closely with Philippine law enforcement agencies for a number of years to assist in combating terrorism and improving security in Philippine communities,” Ambassador Smith said.
“In addition to providing infrastructure, Australia’s assistance has included developing technical and surveillance capabilities, intelligence collection and analysis, analysis of post blast components and bombing techniques, and forensic and other skills particularly related to combating terrorism.
“Australia is pleased to be able to contribute to the work of the PNP and we hope that these new facilities and equipment will assist the PNP in a direct and practical way to discharge their critical responsibilities in combating terrorism and providing for the security of local communities.”
Ambassador Smith noted that while Philippine authorities have had significant successes in the fight against terrorism, extremist groups in Southeast Asia continued to pose a threat to the security of the region, individual countries and communities.
“These capacity-building initiatives are part of the Australian Government’s wider cooperation with our partners in the Asia-Pacific region and globally in addressing terrorism and other transnational crimes,” he said.