Duterte to discuss with Widodo involvement of Indonesian terrorists in Marawi


President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations earlier this year in Laos. AFP/ FILE PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to talk over the phone to Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday to discuss the reported presence of Indonesian Islamic fighters in Mindanao.

“He will ask questions and I have so many questions for him. Kasi ang karamihan yata diyan na foreigners is mga Indonesians (Because probably most of the foreigners are Indonesians),” Duterte told reporters in an ambush interview in Cagayan de Oro.

Indonesian Defense Minister Gen. Ryamizard Ryacudu has said that there were about 1,200 Islamic fighters in the Philippines, including 40 Indonesians.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier confirmed the death of foreign fighters in the Marawi siege that includes Indonesians.

READ: Foreign terrorists killed in Marawi fighting—military

Duterte said the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may launch “retaliatory” attacks after many of their members were killed in the military offensives in Marawi City.

“And the retaliatory moves of the ISIS, better keep watch. I’m not saying that it’s happening, but it will happen in the near future because of the inroads of ISIS into Mindanao,” he said.

But the President said the government troops were capable of dealing with the ISIS problem in the country.

“Let the Armed Forces and the police deal with the problem. I know that they’re capable of doing it,” he said. JPV

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