China guarantees PH partnership on Marawi rehab

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

October 24, 2017, 5:45 pm

MANILA -- China Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on Tuesday said the country could find a "partner" in China as it begins the process of Marawi reconstruction.

This, after China handed over 47 units of heavy equipment to the Philippines on Oct. 23 (Monday) for the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the war-ravaged city.

"I’m glad China is the first country to donate and deliver rehabilitation equipment to the Philippines. There is a Chinese saying, that is, when you want to do something good, then do it timely," said Zhao in a speech sent by the Chinese embassy to the media.

"These equipment arrived just at the time when the reconstruction of Marawi City is about to begin. The donation is timely and they are going to (be) put to use immediately," he added.

At the beginning of the campaign against Islamic State-inspired terrorists, Zhao said China committed to stand together with the Philippines. 

"It is not only because combating terrorism is the shared responsibility of all nations, but also, and more importantly, that we are close neighbors, partners,and friends," he said.

China has delivered two batches of rifles and ammunition to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

As per the embassy, the third batch will be delivered in the first half of 2018, with total value of PHP800 million.

Cash donation for the purpose of humanitarian assistance provided by Beijing has reached PHP95 million.

Zhao congratulated the Philippine government, the AFP in particular, on the victory of its anti-terror campaign in Marawi after two key figures of the siege, Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute, were confirmed killed in a military operation. 

"It was a tough fight in an urban environment but through your determination and bravery, gallantry and combat capabilities, you have proven yet again that terrorism can be defeated and will be defeated," he said.

"I am fully confident that under the wise leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Marawi City will be a complete success," he noted.

"In this important reconstruction process, you will have a friend and partner," he ended. (PNA