Updated 15:27 PM PHT Sat, July 9, 2016
Davao City (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte accused the United States of bringing in terrorism to its own territory.
“It is not that the Middle East is exporting terrorism sa (to) America. America imported terrorism,” Duterte said as he spoke before hundreds of Muslims during the Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l Fit’r celebration Friday.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as the use of violence to endanger human life in a bid to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion through acts such as mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.
Duterte said the U.S. destroyed the Middle East when it attacked the government of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003. He said U.S. and the Great Britain forced their way to Iraq to kill Hussein.
But he said after 10 years, investigation showed that there was no legal basis to declare war against Iraq.
“Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya. Look what happened to Syria. Nauubos ang tao doon, pati bata binobomba ng gasoline (The people there are getting few, even children are being bombed), because of — they were push to the wall for the failed promises,” Duterte said.
This is not the first time Duterte slammed the U.S.—a long-term security ally of the Philippines.
Back in the campaign trail, the tough-talking Davao City mayor once dared the U.S. and Australia to cut diplomatic ties with the Philippines. This was in reaction to strong remarks by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg and Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely against comments made by Duterte on the 1989 rape-slay of an Australian missionary. He took back his words days later, blaming the media's leading questions—saying they prompted him to make the statement on cutting diplomatic ties.
After winning the 2016 elections, Duterte said it will not rely on U.S. in dealing with its dispute with China over the South China Sea.
"It will not be dependent on America. And it will be a line that is not intended to please anybody but the Filipino interest."
CNN Philippines’ Eimor Santos contributed to this report.