Duterte cites need for cooperation vs drugs, terrorism, extremism
President Duterte on Tuesday stressed the need to address regional security issues and highlighted that maritime concern as a new area of cooperation in Southeast and East Asia.
He expressed these concerns during 12th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Pasay City on Tuesday.
“The President stressed the need for cooperation in addressing regional security issues, especially the menace of illegal drugs, terrorism, violent extremism, and human trafficking ,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
“He said better collaboration among ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member-states could prevent the Islamic State from gaining foothold in the region,” he added.
Duterte took note of the threat of terrorism and how it was able to cross borders.
“We have also been made painfully aware that terrorism knows no borders and that violent extremists are becoming more adept at exploiting power vacuums, instability and discontent to spread their narrative hatred and destruction, ”the Philippine leader said.
UN support vs extremism Earlier on Monday night, the United Nations (UN) expressed its readiness to provide help to the ASEAN in the fight against terrorism and other transnational crimes, including illegal drugs and human trafficking, through policies that are able to protect their citizens with “effective law enforcement and respect for human rights.”
UN Secretary General Antonio Gut err es stressed this offer at the ASEAN UN Summit Monday night, even as he repeated his concern over the threat of global terrorism and violent extremism, including in the ASEAN region.
“The United Nations stands ready to provide technical support to ASEAN and its member countries in their efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism, and to combat transnational crime, including drug trafficking and people trafficking, through policies able to protect their citizens with effective law enforcement and respect for human rights,” Guterres said in his opening statement.
The UN chief also welcomed the adoption of the Manila Declaration to Counter the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism, and its recognition of the importance of the 11th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) held in Manila on September 20, 2017.
Noting the recent terror incident in the Philippines, Guterres said, “I am heartened by the recent liberation of Marawi from ISIS.”
Furthermore, he made mention of the trilateral cooperation meeting on terrorism and transnational crimes between the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia that will “strengthen regional peace and security.”
According to Roque, Duterte also saw the importance of promoting infrastructure development to facilitate trade, investment, and service competitiveness as he cited the Philippines’ Build-Build-Build Infrastructure Plan.
President Duterte also made mention of ASEAN’s regional economic integration, saying economic empowerment is the key driver toward regional growth.
“He [Duterte] said ASEAN memberstates and their partners continue to realize the important potentials of micro, small, and medium enterprises,” Roque said.
But United States President Donald Trump was not to present to air his views on the international issues discussed during the EAS. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attended the EAS on Trump’s behalf.
Roque said Trump was not able to attend the summit due to the delays in the program and due to his scheduled flight back to the US.
“EAS was supposed to be at 1:30 [p.m]. I believe he was [scheduled] to leave at 3 [p.m.] and did so,”Roque said in a statement.
In a viber message to reporters, US embassy Press Attache Molly Koscina said President Trump was able to present his remarks when all the leaders attending the East Asia Summit (EAS) were having lunch. Environmental degradation Roque, in another statement, said Duterte, as chair of the ASEAN-EAS, cited the effects of migration, environmental degradation, and armed conflict in the region.
While the summit was ongoing, hundreds of environment advocates and members of people’s movements marched to denounce the US- and East Asia-led coal push in Southeast Asia.
“Coal has no place in a region like Southeast Asia,” said Sanlakas secretary-general Aaron Pedrosa.
“US and East Asian coal companies, represented by their respective nation’s leaders, are riding on the ASEAN drive to further expand the region’s economy by peddling coal-sourced power as the fuel for Southeast Asia’s economic growth. Far from being a tool of development, coal expansion within the region ensures profit only for the few coal companies, and spells death and destruction for the people and the environment of the region’s numerous climate-vulnerable countries,” added Pedrosa.
Among the other issues discussed during the EAS were the impact of climate change and the spread of terrorism and violent extremism.
“PRRD likewise discussed the East Asia Summit with ASEAN as a mechanism by which strategic dialogues and cooperation could be established at the highest level,”Roque said.
During his opening remarks, Duterte said the meeting would include the review and future direction of the EAS.