Threat of ISIS not in PH, says AFP
MANILA, Philippines—With reports of Filipino Muslim youths joining forces with Islamist extremists Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday assured that the threat is not in the country and there is no cause for alarm.
Major General Domingo Tutaan, AFP Spokesman, said the AFP is verifying all information coming in and coordinating with Davao city Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former president Fidel V. Ramos on the issue of around 100 Muslim youths joining the jihadists in Iraq.
“The information regarding alleged Filipino youths who were sent to the ISIS is continuously verified,” Tutaan said. “The threat is out there, in the conflict areas and not here.”
He, however, did not dismiss the information of Ramos and Duterte.
“We are not totally discounting the reports, nor are we contradicting it,” Tutaan said. “We are on the investigation cycle and we are verifying all information.
Ramos said in a television interview that aired on August 19 that 100 Filipino young Muslims have undergone training in Iraq while Duterte reinforced the former president’s claims on Monday.
Tutaan said that General Gregorio Pio Catapang has ordered all troops on the ground, and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to verify the reports.
He added that appropriate measures would be undertaken once they finished their investigation and assessment.
Tutaan, however, did not give a timetable on the investigation, only saying that they would release the information once they verified the reports.
Lieutenant General Rainier Cruz III, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, is coordinating with Duterte, Tutaan said.
AFP’s spokesman stressed that they have not denied any involvement of the alleged Filipino Muslim youths with ISIS and they are only investigating the matter.
He added that the AFP does not want to sow panic by disseminating information without finishing the investigation.
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