MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday he was arranging a meeting with his counterparts in Indonesia and Malaysia to discuss closer cooperation on battling terrorism in the region.
The President said in an interview in Davao City that he is willing to open the country's borders to Indonesian and Malaysian security forces pursuing terrorists.
"I don't know how fast but I have to talk to President Widodo. We have agreed that we will talk, the three of us, si [PM] Najib sa Malaysia," Duterte said.
"In all probability, it will be a joint, parang task force. And I will open my borders to the Malaysian authorities and Indonesian authorities and I will be given an access," the President added.
"Kung may hinahabol kami, tapos sabihin na wala nang panahon, tirahin mo nalang diyan. Even if it's a Filipino, tirahin mo na. Or Indonesian dito, banatan mo."
(If we are pursuing someone, and there is not enough time, just hit them there. Even if it's a Filipino, hit them. Or Indonesian here, hit them.)
Duterte said that as the Islamic State (ISIS) retreats from Syria and Iraq, its fighters may move to other countries.
"The ISIS is being cornered to the coastal towns of Syria and... natutulak na sila Syria. Once they lose base, wala na silang mapunta, papatayin talaga sila. Alam mo na Arabo, they will be executed, sisibat na yan. And then because they have access on some countries, bigla nalang sisipot kagaya nung sa Marawi," Duterte said.
The conflict in Marawi has left about 800 people killed.
The government said the battle for full control of the city is in its "final stages" as firefighting has been confined within a 500x500 square-meter-area.