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Duterte: America, not Middle East, responsible for 'importing terrorism'

Contrary to the prejudice that predominantly-Muslim countries in the Middle East are spreading terrorism, President Rodrigo Duterte accused the United States of "importing terrorism."

"It is not that the Middle East is exporting terrorism in America. America imported terrorism," Duterte said told an audience of Muslim Filipinos on Friday during the Mindanao Hariraya Eid'l Fit'r 2016 in Davao City.

He said that the US introduced war to Iraq by toppling the government of former President Saddam Hussein in 2003, and that the terrorism is a result of Iraqi people being "pushed to the wall."

"They forced their way into Iraq and killed Saddam. Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya. Look what happened to Syria. Nauubos ang tao dun, pati bata," Duterte said.

"Because they were pushed to the wall for the failed promises," he added.

He said that despite Hussein's dictatorship, he was in firm control of Iraq.

Results of a thorough investigation showed that there was no reason to go to war, he added, citing a report he heard over BBC.

"After a thorough, almost 10 years investigation, it turns out there was not legal basis to declare war against Iraq... it's such a useless war," Duterte said.

Duterte likened the Middle East crisis to the violence in Mindanao.

He said that the Philippines was at peace until voyagers led by Ferdinand Magellan introduced Christianity to the nation in 1521.

"Over decades, by force naging Christians ang mga Malay brother natin... because of colonialism," Duterte said. —JST, GMA News