MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday urged state leaders and heads of international organizations to seize the opportunity to "build a new order" amid the coronavirus pandemic, as countries across the globe continue to struggle due to the health crisis.
At the online 2020 Aqaba Process Meeting, which was hosted by King Abdullah II of Jordan, Duterte called for “more openness, deeper solidarity, and stronger cooperation among nations” to push for economic recovery, and fight terrorism and violent extremism, according to Malacañang.
“The repercussions, as we are seeing now, are grim and far-reaching. We have economies in recession, institutions in crisis, and societies in state of uncertainty," Duterte said, adding the Philippine continues to face the threat of terrorism amid the pandemic.
"COVID-19 has not quarantined terrorists."
The President committed to "intensify" the country's cooperation with its neighbors in Southeast Asia, member states of the United Nations, and other international partners.
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic "compels us to break with the past."
"Let us seize this historic opportunity to build a new order: one that is more secure, just, and humane – where there is no room for the barbarity of terrorists and extremist forces," Duterte said.
The Philippines earlier suffered a double bombing in Jolo, Sulu in August, where 14 people were killed and dozens of others were injured.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Army Lt. Col. Ronaldo Mateo said that the Abu Sayyaf group, a loose network of Islamic militants, was "most probably" behind the explosions.