SAF to deliver humanitarian aid to Marawi evacuees

The humanitarian supplies donated by the SAF and Singapore Red Cross for the civilians affected by conflict in Marawi will be delivered by a Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 transport aircraft.
The humanitarian supplies donated by the SAF and Singapore Red Cross for the civilians affected by conflict in Marawi will be delivered by a Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 transport aircraft.PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF NG ENG HEN

The Singapore Armed Forces will be delivering humanitarian supplies to those affected by the conflict in Marawi next week, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said yesterday.

In a Facebook post, Dr Ng said the SAF is currently preparing the supplies, which are donated by the SAF and the Singapore Red Cross.

The supplies will be given to "the hundreds of thousands of civilians who have been forced out of their homes by ISIS-affiliated groups in Marawi, now still in temporary evacuation centres in nearby areas", he added, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group.

A Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 transport aircraft will be delivering the supplies.

This comes after Singapore offered humanitarian assistance to the Philippines last month, which was accepted "in principle".

Singapore had also offered drones and its urban warfare training facilities to help Philippine troops dislodge Muslim militants in Marawi.

Singapore had also offered drones and its urban warfare training facilities to help Philippine troops dislodge Muslim militants in Marawi.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited Marawi for the second time on Friday to boost the morale of troops who have been battling pro-ISIS extremists for more than two months.

During the visit, he lashed out at former president Benigno Aquino III once more as he talked about the illegal drug problem that he believes to be one of the root causes of the Marawi conflict, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He had earlier called Mr Aquino a fool for questioning the effectiveness of the administration's anti-drug campaign.

"That hurt," the President said, referring to Mr Aquino's comment. "Many of my soldiers died, and my police were wounded… That's insulting," he said.

Mr Duterte's first visit to Marawi since the fighting broke out took place late last month, and he had then thanked the troops for their heroism. Government casualties in the fighting have risen to 119.

"I have to be here because I want all of you to know that… I love you. I hope you will be able to clean up Marawi City and get rid of the terrorists," he said in his speech.

Mr Duterte has asked Congress for funds to recruit 20,000 new soldiers to battle rising threats from pro-ISIS militants in the country's restive south, reported Reuters.

"He wanted to relay to us that he needs 20,000 more soldiers for the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines," said Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto. "He wants to make sure that in his tenure, he will be able to resolve the problem of peace and order."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 06, 2017, with the headline 'SAF to deliver humanitarian aid to Marawi evacuees'. Print Edition | Subscribe