CLARK FIELD, Pampanga – President Rodrigo Duterte cited the assistance provided by China, Russia, the US, and Australia in defeating terrorism in Marawi when he spoke to defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday, October 24.
The defense ministers were in the country for the 11th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and 4th ADMM-Plus in Clark.
This event was among the preludes leading to the ASEAN summit set in Manila next month. Some 21 world leaders are expected to attend the ASEAN summit.
In his address, Duterte told the ministers all combat operations in Marawi City had been terminated as the remaining terrorists in the area had been neutralized.
The President expressed gratitude to the countries which provided assistance to the Philippines in defeating the Maute terror group, namely China and Russia, which provided firearms; and the US and Australia for help with intelligence and military expertise.
He also talked to the ministers about the country’s war against illegal drugs.
Following his meeting with ASEAN Defense ministers, Duterte received General Sergei Shoigu, Russia's Defense Minister.
United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis also paid a courtesy call to President Duterte.
It was during the ASEAN defense forum that Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said international sanctions on North Korea were not working and served only to strengthen the regime of Kim Jong-Un.
"Sanctions (are) not working but still strengthening the hand of Mr Kim Jong-Un," said Lorenzana. – Rappler.com