US funds state-of-the-art counter-terrorism training hub in Philippines

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the United States Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a state-of-the-art Regional Counter-terrorism Training Center at PNP Academy (PNPA) in Silang, Cavite.

“Once constructed, the center will provide counterterrorism training for law enforcement units and personnel from the Philippines and regional partner nations,” the US Embassy in Manila said.

According to US Embassy, the US Department of State has secured PHP 520 million ($10 million) in counter-terrorism partnership funds to establish and jointly operate the center with the PNP.

According to PNP, based on the agreement, the construction of the Regional Counterterrorism Training Center will cost “Php 350 million ($6.7 million) of the Php 520 million ($10 million) planned US investment to establish and jointly operate the center with the PNP.”

PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde said five newly-organized police commando battalions of the PNP Special Action Force are being eyed to receive formal counter-terrorism training in the new facility.

“We are grateful to the US Government for this project which we will establish a new training center which mainly designed to boost our counterterrorism capabilities that has been a global menace nowadays,” General Albayalde said.

He said that the training facility will certainly provide the PNP with enhanced capability to address threats posed by domestic and transnational terrorism.

The US Embassy said “the establishment of this center reflects the US’ enduring commitment to support Philippine counter-terrorism efforts and work together to address threats to peace and security in the region.”