Putin vows to support Duterte battle terrorism

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2019 04:56 AM

SOCHI, Russia—Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday promised support to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in fighting terrorism.

"Mr. President [Duterte], we are ready to continue to develop our partnership and to share our experience and achievements in the field of counterterrorism," he said during their bilateral meeting in the resort city of Sochi.

The Philippine government under the Duterte administration, Putin said, was able to reduce terror threats and enhance the capabilities of its security forces.

"I recall how you had to fly back home during your previous visit to Russia in May 2017 because of the terrorist attacks staged by ISIS," he said.

The Russian government also expressed interest to further expand its cooperation with the Philippines.

"Russian companies are willing to increase the export of energy, aircraft, motor transport and special vehicles to the Philippines. We are interested in promoting industrial cooperation and joint projects in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, space exploration and digital technology," Putin said.

On his part, Duterte reaffirmed Philippines' commitment to build a comprehensive partnership with Russia.

"In the past 2 years we have seen a dramatic increase in bilateral activities across many areas of cooperation at various levels of government. We have also made historic firsts in the key strategic areas, from economic defense, security and military technical cooperation," he said.

Meanwhile, in the Valdai Discussion Club where Duterte delivered a speech, he stressed the need to explore new partnerships with non-traditional allies, such as Russia.

He also used the forum to lash out against countries critical of his administration's campaign against illegal drugs.

"We want unimpeded freedom guaranteed by our constitution to exercise the right to govern ourselves as a people and as we saw it fit," he said.

He added, "I want our friends and partners to respect our independence to make sovereign decisions just as we respect theirs."

With 3 years left before his term ends, Duterte said he would sought engagement in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

"I want the Filipino people to broaden their worldwide view, to be enriched by the cultures and intellectual traditions of the old civilizations of the Americas, Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East," he said.