President Rodrigo Duterte said the issue of terrorism dominated the discussions of the recently concluded 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits held in Manila.
In a press conference after the closing ceremony of the ASEAN meetings on Tuesday night, Duterte said world leaders were concerned over the threat of terrorism in the Southeast Asian region.
“Half of the time during the interventions, [we discussed] the issue of terrorism. Everybody is scared… that just suddenly there will be an explosion or whatever,” the President told reporters.
During the summit, Duterte said that the leaders of the 10-member regional bloc and their dialogue partners, together with China and United States, assured to work with each other to fight 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 Philippines had just concluded a five-month clash against ISIS-inspired Maute group who laid siege in Marawi City.
The President said leaders who joined the meetings gave their condolences to the fallen government forces who fought against the terrorists. World leaders also congratulated the government troops for winning the battle.
“All leaders of state there mentioned the heroism of our soldiers and policemen,” the Chief Executive said.
The Philippines received assistance from different countries for the rehabilitation of the war-torn city. The President also expressed his gratitude to the leaders of Japan, Russia, China, and US for their support to the country during the battle.