Vietnam pledges rice to newly freed Filipinos in terror-hit Marawi

November 10, 2017 | 01:17 pm GMT+7
Vietnam pledges rice to newly freed Filipinos in terror-hit Marawi
Children line up to receive lunch at an evacuation center outside Marawi, Philippines in July 2017. Photo by Reuters/Jorge Silva

Presidents Quang and Duterte met on the sidelines of the APEC Summit and also discussed securing the release of kidnapped Vietnamese fishermen.

Vietnam has offered to donate 200 tons of rice to people in the now militant-free Marawi in the southern Philippines, said a statement from Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and his counterpart Rodrigo Duterte met on the sidelines of the APEC Summit on Thursday and also agreed to further cooperation in the fight against terrorism, pirates, drug and human trafficking, and in maritime rescue and navigation.

Duterte said on October 17 that Marawi City has been freed from the terrorist group Maute. The declaration came a day after the military killed two terrorist leaders and rescued hundreds of civilian hostages.

The crisis in the city started after an attack by the Maute group on May 23, prompting Duterte to impose martial law in the city.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines reported that 824 terrorists were killed and 1,771 hostages were rescued during the five-month rule. The military also lost 162 soldiers and a further 1,000 were wounded in action.

At the bilateral meeting, the two presidents agreed to maintain peace and security in the South China Sea,  known in Vietnam as the East Sea.

Duterte also said efforts will be made to secure Vietnamese fishermen being held hostage by pirates in the Philippines, and that he will deal strictly with the deadly shooting of two Vietnamese fishermen during an anti-poaching operation at sea in September.

Militant group Abu Sayyaf took six Vietnamese fishermen hostage in November last year. Three of them have been killed while another escaped and was rescued in May.

 
 
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