In a speech to a Muslim audience, President Duterte has blamed America for importing terrorism into its own country.
Duterte told a room full of Muslims at the Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l Fit’r 2016 in Davao City on Friday that: “It is not that the Middle East is exporting terrorism in America. America imported terrorism.”
The president also said that the US brought chaos to Iraq by toppling the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003. He said the people of Iraq turned to terrorism due to being “pushed to the wall.”
Duterte continued his tirade against the Philippines’ biggest ally by saying: “They forced their way into Iraq and killed Saddam. Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya. Look what happened to Syria. Because they were pushed to the wall for the failed promises.
“Despite Hussein’s dictatorship, he was in firm control of Iraq,” he added.
The president continued by saying: “Results of a thorough investigation showed that there was no reason to go to war.”
He then cited a BBC report on the matter. “After a thorough, almost 10-year investigation, it turns out there was no legal basis to declare war against Iraq… it’s such a useless war.”
The president also compared the violence in Mindanao to that in the Middle East and claimed that the Philippines was at peace until the Spanish arrived and introduced Christianity to the country in 1521. He said: “Over decades, by force, Christians [forced] change to the Malay brothers because of colonialism.”