Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday said his Indonesian counterpart has offered to meet with him and the Malaysian foreign minister to discuss the ongoing clashes in Marawi City.
Cayetano told reporters in Rizal Park after the 119th Independence Day rites that members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have expressed support against terrorism in the country.
“The last 10 months have been very good conversations, communication-sharing. In fact, the Indonesian foreign minister is proposing nga a meeting, a small conference wherein we’ll be able to talk about the situation and what we can do together with Malaysia,” he said when asked if the two countries expressed to help the Philippine government quell the ISIS-inspired forces in Marawi City.
“At this point, let me thank the Indonesian foreign minister for caring about what is happening in the Philippines and being concerned and trying to put this together so we’ll be able to respond to them in a day or two and announce to you iyong conference na magaganap,” he added.
As early as October 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte warned that the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia would be the terrorists' “next frontier” as the ISIS was starting to lose grip on the Middle East.
The President on Sunday revealed that it was ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who told his followers to wreak havoc in the Philippines.
“Hindi ko naman akalain na ganoon kalala kasi now lumabas na si Baghdadi mismo, the leader of the ISIS has specifically ordered terroristic activities here in the Philippines,” Duterte said.
The defense minister of Indonesia previously claimed that there were 1,200 ISIS fighters in the Philippines, which top military officials already refuted.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has revealed that two Indonesians and two Malaysians were among the eight identified foreign fighters killed in Marawi City. —ALG/KG, GMA News