Visit of the Australian Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism
Australia’s Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Paul Foley PSM, visited the Philippines on 5 to 8 August 2019 to underscore the importance placed by Australia on its security partnership with the Philippines.
Mr Foley met with representatives from the Philippine Government, the Philippine Congress, members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, local government, civil society, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Mr Foley travelled to Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City and Marawi City as part of the visit.
In Manila, Mr Foley met with several Senators and members of the House of Representatives to discuss reforms of the Philippines’ Human Security Act, the country’s main counter-terrorism legislation.
“I am encouraged to hear of progress in reforming the Human Security Act. Despite the territorial defeat of ISIS in the Middle East, foreign terrorist fighters continue to pose a significant security threat across the region. It is important that legislation keeps pace with the changing nature of these threats,” said Mr Foley.
The threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters was seen in the devastating attack on the Jolo Cathedral in January 2019. This attack underscored the challenging nature of combatting contemporary threats and the need for close regional cooperation to counteract them.
In Marawi, Mr Foley saw firsthand the devastating impact of ISIS ideology in the region when he visited the Most Affected Area of the city.
Mr Foley said that he was encouraged to see the progress that had been made with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi City. In meetings with civil society organisations in Mindanao, he was struck by the impressive work being done at the grassroots level to build community resilience. This work will help prevent violence into the future.
As Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Mr Foley leads Australia's international engagement on counter-terrorism and represents Australia at multilateral fora including the United Nations, the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum and the working groups of the Anti-ISIL coalition.
Australia’s Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Paul Foley PSM and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Steven J Robinson AO, meet with International Alert Philippines and members of the Lanao del Sur Early Response Network in Marawi City to learn more about the network and the Critical Events Monitoring System.
Australia’s Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Paul Foley PSM and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Steven J Robinson AO, meet with members of civil society organisation United Mothers for Marawi Initiative and the Institute for Autonomy and Governance.
Australia’s Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Paul Foley PSM and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Steven J Robinson AO, at the launch of the Communities of Inclusive and Resilience and through Collaborations and Local Engagement (CIRCLE) Project with National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, Carlito Galvez, and Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, and members of local government. Project CIRCLE aims to build the capacity of local government to prevent violent extremism in Mindanao.