From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 14): Ranking US Navy official condoles with families of fallen Philippine Marines in Marawi City
US Pacific Fleet commander, Admiral Scott Swift, has expressed his condolences to the families and loved ones of the 13 fallen Filipino Marines during his meeting with Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado Tuesday.
The American naval official also extended the Pacific Fleet's support to the anti-terrorist actions being conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Marawi City.
Around 13 Philippine Marines were killed last Friday during a heavy firefight with Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City. This rises the AFP death toll to 58 killed.
Mercado said this includes whatever assistance the Philippine government will ask and training opportunities for the PN like "shipriders" aboard US Navy vessels.
He said this is Swift's second time to visit PN headquarters in Roxas Boulevard, Manila with the first one in 2015.
When asked on whether he and the US Pacific commander discussed the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue during their Tuesday meeting, Mercado said, "WPS was not discussed but the Trilateral Maritime Patrol between Philippine-Malaysia-Indonesia was discussed. They also support this initiative that will stop the maritime movement of terrorist personalities in the region."
Swift's Philippine visit took place last June 11 to 14. It was aimed at reaffirming the US Navy’s strong partnership and ties with the AFP.
“The PN is a valued and enduring ally of the US Navy and a close partner of the Pacific Fleet,” he added.