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Palace says gov’t to thwart IS rise in PH

The government will thwart terrorist activities of Islamic State (IS), which a New York Times (NYT) report said was rising in the Philippines.

The report said IS has “attracted a range of militant jihadists” in Mindanao.

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Malacañang gave the assurance in reaction to the Times report, which said IS was moving to the Philippines after losing ground in the Middle East.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Department of National Defense (DND) was monitoring the movements of IS-affiliated groups and individuals in Mindanao, where martial law was declared following the siege of Marawi City by IS followers.

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“Definitely, we should undertake measures to prevent that from happening,” Panelo said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

DND role

Pressed for details, Panelo said he had to “ask the DND because they are the ones monitoring the movements of these people.”

In a report entitled “How ISIS is Rising in the Philippines as It Dwindles in the Middle East,” the Times warned that IS has “sprouted elsewhere,” including Mindanao.

While its territory in the Middle East has dwindled, IS has spread to Mindanao where it has “attracted a range of militant jihadists.”

In May 2017, the IS-backed Maute terrorist group entered Marawi and engaged government soldiers in a war that lasted for five months.

Martial law in Mindanao has been extended to Dec. 31, 2019.

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TAGS: DND, Islamic State, jihadists, Salvador Panelo
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