Report on Islamic State ‘raw intelligence,’ says Palace
MANILA, Philippines — The intelligence report saying that elements of the Islamic State (IS) are now in northern Luzon is still “raw intelligence” being vetted by the military and police, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
“That’s precisely why the President [was] praying that we won’t be infiltrated that bad by the [IS] because it will be really bloody,” Panelo added.
The Palace official made the remarks following a leaked report ordering the Northern Luzon Command’s intelligence unit to intensify its operations, as there might be IS elements in “crusader cities” and “crusader churches” in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan and Manaoag in Pangasinan.
The Palace said it had tasked the military and the police to beef up its intelligence gathering and boosted its security measures to verify the report.
In a speech in Malacañang on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte said the report that IS was gaining ground was enough for him to pray and beseech God to spare the country from the terrorist group’s “brutality and cruelty.”
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