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MANILA, Aug. 5 (PNA) - Malacañang welcomed on Sunday the US State Department's Country Report on Terrorism citing the Philippines as a 'critical partner' in its Anti-Terrorism program.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said over government radio dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that the Philippines remains committed to helping combat terrorism "on a global front."
In a press release dated August 1, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the US State Department had released the results of its 2011 Philippine Country Report on Terrorism, and recognized the Philippine government’s progress in the fight against terrorism.
It said that because the Philippines maintained its strong counterterrorism cooperation with the United States by providing tactical and investigative training to support the transition in the southern Philippines from military to civilian counterterrorism authority in Mindanao, “the Philippines remained a critical partner nation in the State's Anti-Terrorism Assistance program.”
The report noted that President Benigno S. Aquino III’s Administration's implementation of the 2011-2016 Internal Peace and Security Plan contributed to progress in the fight against terrorism.
The US State Department also highlighted institutional improvements directed towards addressing terrorism such as the creation of joint military and police task forces and interagency operations cells in in Zamboanga, Sulu, and Basilan; formation of anti-kidnapping-for-ransom group in Marawi City with military and police participation; and the establishment of the PNP's national Crisis Action Force that combined ground, air, and maritime units into a unified terrorist/crisis first response unit.
The Internal Peace and Security Plan adopts a "whole of nation" approach to achieve lasting peace, security, and economic development, including the transfer of internal security functions from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to the Philippine National Police (PNP).