PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said terrorism dominated the talks in the just-concluded 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 just suddenly in the explosion of any… whatever,” he said.
Duterte said that 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 100 soldiers and congratulated the Philippine military for winning the war.
“As in most of the time and of course I’d like to ask you to join me, all, all leaders of state there mentioned about the heroism of our soldiers and policemen,” Duterte said.
“And of course, they mentioned about my loss in figures of about 150 something of the soldiers and policemen,” he added.
The Philippines defeated the Islamic State-inspired terrorists who laid siege to Marawi City to establish a caliphate for Southeast Asian terrorists.
A month before the Asean summit, Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City from the hands of the terrorists following the death of its leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.