MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he is willing to send Filipino troops to Jordan to fight the Islamic State.
“And of course, I said, I’ll leave you my guarantee that we will be friends and we will nurse and nurture it fully so that someday my people can really say that you paved the way for the good relationship,” Duterte said in a speech before Jordanian business leaders.
“If there is anything that we can do, if you are short of your army, let me know… You need one battalion? Two, three, four, five? I’ll send them to you.”
Duterte said he is willing to send Filipino troops to help their Jordanian counterparts because he wants his government to be “in the right side of history” which he described as being “fair” and understanding the “problems of humanity.”
“You’ll realize that you need [us] as much as I need you in order to work this place called Earth, beautiful and working for all of us,” he said.
Jordan, which shares borders with Syria and Iraq, has been dealing with the threat posed by the Islamic State.
The Duterte administration itself had to deal with the Islamic State-inspired Maute group that laid siege to Marawi for five months last year.
At least 1,100 people, mostly terrorists, were killed in the 5-month siege that erupted in the city in May 2017 between state forces and the terrorist group.
The Maute gunmen were aiming to establish an ISIS stronghold in Mindanao, which would have served as the center of a caliphate. The government and security experts believe that the threat ISIS poses in the region remains, complicating efforts to bring Marawi City back to normal.