Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned of the looming problem the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group poses to the country.

Duterte made the warning on August 10 after hearing about the presence of "white skinned" Arab-looking people in the southern Philippines.

They are here as missionaries, they are not armed but they are into indoctrination, he said in a speech to the Philippine Army in the southern province of Zamboanga del Sur.

He said he sees IS as a looming problem, and in three to seven years from now, the Philippines may have an IS problem.

The government should act before the minds of the Muslims are "contaminated" by the "IS disease".

The previous administration in the country denied the presence of IS in the country, while the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group has pledged allegiance to the international terror group.-VNA