President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said terrorism dominated the talks during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Summits in Manila.
“Half of the time during the interventions [what was being discussed]actually was the issue of terrorism. Everybody’s scared with the new vogue of dying suddenly in the explosion of any… whatever,” he said.
Duterte said the leaders of the 10-member regional bloc and their dialogue partners, including China and the United States, vowed to work together to combat terror groups.
“We vowed to work closely. We discussed it in confidential meetings. We have agreed on so many things to enhance the defense of our country. But, unfortunately, these are the things which I cannot really talk about in public,” he said.
The President said many of the leaders sent their condolences over the deaths of over a hundred soldiers and congratulated the Philippine military for winning the war.
“All leaders of state there mentioned about the heroism of our soldiers and policemen,” Duterte said.
A month before the Asean summit, Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City from Maute terrorists following the death of its leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. CATHERINE S. VALENTE