President Duterte said that the COVID-19 pandemic has actually made ensuring a country’s peace and security more difficult as lawless elements take advantage of the crisis to do their nefarious acts.
Duterte made the statement as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the second time this year at its 31st Special Session in Response to the COVID-19 on Friday.
In his pre-recorded message, the President said that even though the world is busy with addressing the pandemic, countries must still face other challenges head-on.
“In many parts of the world, the pandemic has worsened threats to peace and security,” he said.
“The lawless weaponize this health crisis. They cripple the state’s ability to respond. They leave COVID-19 to wreak its worst on the population,” he added.
“This is an inconvenient truth – but one that we must face head-on,” he continued.
President Duterte likewise stressed that combatting terrorism is as urgent now as it was before.
In the Philippines, President Duterte said this fight is about saving lives while preserving the nation’s democratic values.
“Combatting terrorism is just as urgent now as it was before the pandemic,” he said.
“In my country, this fight is about protecting life while preserving the democratic values we have restored without violence,” he added.
President Duterte also reiterated the Philippines’ support for the UN’s call for a global ceasefire.