Albayalde blames ‘political issues’ for lack of intel equipment
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Thursday blamed “political issues” in Congress for the lack of modernized equipment of the police for gathering intelligence information, as part of the measures to counter terrorism.
Albayalde said the government, not just the police and the military, should be more serious with enforcing actions against terrorism in the country, after a DNA test confirmed that 23-year-old Norman Lasuca, one of the suspected suicide bombers at a military camp in Indanan, Sulu, was a Filipino.
“Kailangan ma-appreciate na ng ating mga mambabatas na kailangan na rin siguro natin this time na magkaroon ng importanteng intelligence technical equipment,” he told reporters in a chance interview.
(Our lawmakers should understand that this time we really need to have important intelligence technical equipment.)
Although there were previous cases of suicide bombings in the country carried out by foreigners, the June 28 attack at the temporary headquarters of the Philippine Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team in Indanan town is the first suicide bombing allegedly perpetrated by a Filipino.
Albayalde earlier said suicide bombing is not popular among local terrorists since it is not embedded in our culture.
Despite this development, Albayalde, however, said the procurement of the modernized equipment is not included in the proposed budget of the PNP for 2020.
Asked by a reporter on the reason behind not including it in the proposed budget, he said: “Alam mo na ang reason siguro doon (You probably know the reason why).”
“We cannot request ‘yung mga ganoong surveillance equipment. Sometimes nagiging, there are political issues na pumapasok kaya hindi tayo maka-improve ng ating mga importanteng surveillance equipment,” he said.
(We cannot request those kinds of surveillance equipment. Sometimes, political issues get in the way so we cannot improve our important surveillance equipment.)
Aside from improving equipment for intelligence information gathering, Albayalde also called for the passage of amendments for the Human Security Act of 2007 and the creation of national ID, which he said can help authorities fight terrorism and insurgency.
He said education can also thwart the radicalization of Filipino youth by terrorist groups. /je
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