MANILA, Philippines, Aug. 25, 2017 —
The commander of U.S. Pacific Command visited the Philippines Aug. 23 to 24 to meet with Philippine military and government leaders.
Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacañan Palace here to discuss U.S. support to the Philippine government for ongoing efforts to end the conflict in Marawi, interoperability between their nations' militaries, and regional threats. The Philippine military is fighting to take back Marawi from pro-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters.
Harris participated in a wreath-laying ceremony Aug. 23 at the Heroes Cemetery, in Taguig to honor the sacrifice of Filipino military heroes buried there.
He also met with Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana; Gen. Eduardo Año, chief of staff of the Philippine armed forces; and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano. In addition, the admiral traveled to Zamboanga to meet Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of Western Mindanao Command.
The meetings focused on upcoming bilateral engagements, recent aid and military assistance that the U.S. government has provided to the Philippines, as well as opportunities for additional U.S. support in Marawi, officials said.
(From a U.S. Embassy in the Philippines news release.)