MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said terrorism dominated the discussions of the just-concluded 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings.
“Half of the time during the interventions [what was being discussed] was the issue of terrorism,” Duterte told reporters in a news conference at the close of the summit.
The Philippines just recently dealt with Islamic State-inspired terrorists who laid siege to the predominantly Muslim city of Marawi.
The siege, which left over 1,000 dead and tens of thousands homeless, showed that the terror network was seeking to establish a stronghold in Southeast Asia following heavy losses in the Middle East.
Duterte said that during the summit, leaders of the 10-nation 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 in confidential meetings — we have agreed on so many things to enhance the defense of our countries but unfortunately these are things I cannot talk about publicly,” Duterte said.