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Duterte: Terrorism main issue raised during ASEAN meetings
President Rodrigo Duterte addresses a press conference after the closing ceremony of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila on November 14, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA / MANILA BULLETIN)
November 15th, 2017 | 11:42 AM | 1160 views
President Duterte said that the issue of terrorism was the main concern raised by the world leaders who participated in the meetings during the recently concluded 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
This as the Philippines’ chairmanship of the ASEAN Summit and related summits concluded in a ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City Tuesday night.
According to the President, everybody was concerned about the threat of terrorism in the Southeast Asian region.
“Half of the time (taken) during the interventions was the issue of terrorism. Everybody’s scared that suddenly there will be an explosion, or whatever,” he said in a press conference following the closing ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit.
The Philippine government itself has just concluded its five-month war against terrorists in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
Duterte revealed that leaders of the regional bloc and their dialogue partners, including Japan, the United States, and China, vowed to work together to combat terror groups.
“We discussed it in confidential meetings. We have agreed on so many things to enhance the defense of our countries. But unfortunately, these are things I cannot talk about publicly,” he added.
It was revealed throughout the Summit that world leaders commended Duterte and the Philippine government for being able to handle the Marawi crisis well.
In their joint statement, US President Donald Trump expressed his condolences for the loss of lives in Marawi City and vowed assistance in the rehabilitation of the war-torn city.
“President Trump expressed his condolences for the tragic loss of life in Marawi City at the hands of ISIS-affiliated terrorists, and congratulated the Armed Forces of the Philippines for its success in liberating Marawi,” the joint statement read.
But despite the commendations from his fellow leaders, Duterte revealed that nobody really won the war in Marawi, even if the Philippine government troops were able to neutralize the terrorists’ leaders.
“We fought for about four months and at the expense of the lives of many people, Christians and Muslims alike. We got nothing. Nobody won that war, not (the) government,” Duterte said in one of the related summits Sunday.
“We’re able to kill, how many? Terrorists and even? The confict did not promote peace in this world. We were just acting on a police punitive action,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte also thanked his fellow world leaders and their respective governments—particularly Japan, Russia, US, and China—for their support to the Philippines during the war, and even now during the rehabilitation of Marawi.
He said that with the collection of billions of pesos of unpaid taxes, his economic advisers assured him that the government can now start laying down the foundation of the city.
courtesy of MANILA BULLETIN
by Argyll Cyrus Geducos
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