Duterte calls on US to help fight terrorism

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 09 2017 06:40 PM

Duterte calls on US to help fight terrorism 1
President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo by Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Distancing from his usual anti-American remarks, President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said Manila and Washington should work together to address international terrorism threats.

Speaking at the Mt. Samat Shrine in Pilar, Bataan for the Araw ng Kagitingan commemoration rites, Duterte said the historic ties between the Philippines and the United States should serve as a basis for joint anti-terrorism efforts.

"As we fought together to stay above the enemy then, so we should help each other to address the threats that confront our societies, our region, and our world," Duterte said in a prepared speech.

"Now the menace of terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crimes such as the illegal drug trade have called into question, efforts uphold the responsibility to defend the common good," he added.

For his part, Michael Klecheski, U.S. Charge' D'Affaires agreed. 

"Today the new challenge of terrorism has emerged,"Klecheski said.

"We must also remember the importance of standing together as what the Philippines and the United States have done for many decades," he added. 

Last Thursday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre presented to the media 2 arrested foreigners suspected of having links to the Islamic State. 

The arrest for the first time confirmed earlier suspicion that the militant group, responsible for deadly attacks in key cities around the world, had reached the Philippines. 

Since assuming office, Duterte has repeatedly blasted the U.S. for criticizing his bloody anti-narcotics campaign. He even announced his "separation" from the US both in "military and economic" during a visit to China last year. 

But earlier this month, Duterte assured that the Philippines will not enter into any military alliance with other countries.