Singapore sends aid for Marawi evacuees

A Philippine Army forklift unloads boxes of medicines and food itemsfrom a C130 plane of the Republic of Singapore Air Force at the Laguindingan Airport, Misamis Oriental on Monday, August 7, 2017. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

LAGUINDINGAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews/08 August) — A C130 plane of the Republic of Singapore Air Force landed on Monday at the airport in this town bringing relief items for people displaced by the ongoing siege in Marawi, marking the growing concern of  other Southeast Asian over the threats of terrorism in the region.

The plane brought 30 sets of tent, 3,120 food packs, three medical supply sets, 200 pieces of blankets, 64 sets of dynamo lights and 1,080 bottles of water.

The Singapore Red Cross also brought on the plane three sets of water purifier units, each capable of purifying 1,000 liters of water in one hour.

“Today we are glad to be here to help our friends in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in their fight against extremism in Marawi,” said Col. Lee Kuan Chung, director of Changi Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Coordination Center.

Lee said the humanitarian aid is intended for the Marawi evacuees.

He said the Singaporean government has offered the Philippines any assistance to help it defeat what he called Islamic extremists.

He said the Singapore defense department offered the use of its urban training facilities, humanitarian supplies for evacuees and a detachment of unmanned aerial vehicles that can enhance the Philippine military’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

Singapore-based Channel News Asia reported on Aug. 1 that Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has agreed in principle to the offer.

The ongoing battle in Marawi against the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group has raised concerns among Asean countries that “extremism” could also spread to their borders.

Government forces have sustained over a hundred casualties as the conflict entered its third month. At least 1,000 others have been wounded. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)