HMA Ships Adelaide and Darwin have arrived in the Philippines, with the larger ship welcoming a senior government and military delegation including Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and the Secretary for National Defense Delfin Lorenzana.
Australia has a long history working with neighbouring nations including the Philippines to maintain regional security and counter-terrorism in the Indo-Pacific and continues to work closely with the Government of the Philippines to counter the threat of terrorism in the region
In June 2017, Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft commenced surveillance flights over the southern Philippines to collect information that is assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines in its fight against Daesh-affiliated terrorism in Marawi.
Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin was in Manila on 9 and 10 October and met with the Secretary of National Defense, where they discussed Australian support to the Philippines’ fight against Daesh-affiliated terrorism in the southern Philippines. He also met with his counterpart, General Eduardo Año to discuss practical opportunities for the Australian Defence Force to further its support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The conflict in the southern Philippines highlights the crucial need for South East Asian nations to proactively work together to counter terrorism in the region.
The Australian ships are in Manila as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, a joint task group deployment to the region focussed on international engagement.
In addition to the Philippines, the visit program includes Brunei, Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.